President Obama will propose on Monday giving the federal government new power to block excessive rate increases by health insurance companies, as he rolls out comprehensive legislation to revamp the nation’s health care system, White House officials said.First, it was two auto companies. Then, it was dictating CEO pay. Now, it's demanding the final say over whether or not an insurer can raise rates so it can stay in business and insure their clients?
The president’s legislation aims to bridge differences between the bills adopted by the House and Senate late last year, and to frame his debate with Republicans over health policy at a televised “summit” meeting on Thursday.
By focusing on the effort to tighten regulation of insurance costs, a new element not included in either the House or Senate bills, Mr. Obama is seizing on outrage over recent premium increases of up to 39 percent announced by Anthem Blue Cross of California and moving to portray the Democrats’ health overhaul as a way to protect Americans from predatory insurers.
Congressional Republicans have long denounced the Democrats’ legislation as a “government takeover” of health care. And while they will likely resist any expansion of federal authority over existing state regulators, they will face a tough balancing act at the meeting with the president to avoid appearing as if they are willing to allow steep premium hikes like those by Anthem.
Can you say, "dictatorship?"