On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal published further information about universities increasing their health-care premiums, or dropping coverage altogether, because of ObamaCare’s expensive mandates.
Catholic institutions of higher learning, such as Franciscan University in Ohio and Ave Maria University in Florida, have dropped their health care plans due to moral objections against ObamaCare’s mandated contraception benefits. Last week, the non-denominational Clearwater Christian College in Tampa, Florida announced it would more than double the premiums charged to some students for health care coverage, as a result of ObamaCare’s mandated benefit increases.
Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Louise Randofsky describes a similar situation at another college in Kansas:
Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., this past year offered a 12-month plan that cost students $445, while capping payouts at $10,000. For the 2012-13 academic year, the Obama administration said the payout cap must be at least $100,000. Bethany said students would have had to pay more than $2,000 to get that new level of coverage.
“We decided not to offer coverage for our students next year given the proposed increase in premium,” said Bob Schmoll, Bethany’s vice president for finance.
Mr. Schmoll said his school wished it could have kept the limited-coverage plan, which he said was a “fairly robust program for the type of need that most students of that age have.” Even the old premium was “for many a struggle to pay,” he said. Students previously had to sign up for the school’s plan if they didn’t have other insurance. Now students won’t be required to have health coverage.
ObamaCare’s mandated increases to payout caps are going to hit a lot of students, particularly at smaller colleges. Randofsky reports that “some 60% of schools’ plans had coverage of $50,000 or less for specific conditions, and almost all of the rest had some sort of payout caps that they will have to do away with by 2014,” according to a General Accounting Office study. Unlike politically connected businesses and labor unions, universities couldn’t score those marvelous ObamaCare waivers to slip out from beneath these sledgehammer mandates.
Savor the sneering arrogance of the Obama Administration’s response to the extra financial load it’s dropping on the backs of students across the country:
“Given today’s health system,” the plans “wouldn’t represent a good value,” said Michael Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. Plans with caps starting at $5,000 or $10,000 “would likely not begin to cover the first day in the hospital,” he said.
So dig deep into your wallets, kids! Your betters in the Obama Administration have decided the old insurance plans you were perfectly happy with, to provide light coverage for your young and healthy body, don’t “represent a good value.” You’ll have to pay twice as much for something the commissars approve of, packed with expensive benefits you’ll never need. This will further diminish the market pressures that could have been unleashed to reduce the cost of hospitalization; instead, those costs will be socialized, and left to balloon even further, just like college tuition rates.
What about President Obama’s famous promise that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan?” Words, just words. You obviously didn’t hear him mutter “… assuming I decide they represent a good value” under his breath.