This went into effect Monday. I’ve waited a while to see whether the MSM would jump on the good news with its customary enthusiasm. Oddly, no.
On Friday, the federal government launched an element of the Affordable Care Act that is likely to have far-reaching consequences on the cost of health care in the United States in the form of new regulatory controls on how private health insurance companies spend the money they collect in premiums. Rick Ungar, a left-leaning specialist on health care policy who writes for the corporatist site, Forbes.com, explains:
That would be the provision of the law, called the medical loss ratio, that requires health insurance companies to spend 80 percent of the consumers’ premium dollars they collect — 85 percent for large group insurers — on actual medical care rather than overhead, marketing expenses and profit. Failure on the part of insurers to meet this requirement will result in the insurers having to send their customers a rebate check representing the amount in which they underspend on actual medical care.
This is the true ‘bomb’ contained in Obamacare and the one item that will have more impact on the future of how medical care is paid for in this country than anything we’ve seen in quite some time. Indeed, it is this aspect of the law that represents the true ‘death panel’ found in Obamacare — but not one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. Rather, the medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of large parts of the private, for-profit health insurance industry.