Cracking Down on Mennonite Ministries

A key part of Obamacare was the establishment of the right for Health and Human Services to review rate filings submitted by insurers across the country if the premium increase being sought exceeds 10% per year (previously, this had been strictly a state issue).

Well today, HHS came out with strongly-worded statement criticizing Everence Insurance for a 11.6% rate increase on their small group health insurance business in Pennsylvania.  They stated that the increase sought by Everence was “unreasonable” and implored them to “immediately rescind the rate, issue refunds to consumers or publicly explain their refusal to do so”.

So, who is this evil Everence Insurance empire anyway? 

Well, it turns out that they used to be known as “MMA and Mennonite Financial Federal Credit Union“.  Their motto is “Financial Services rooted in Faith and Values”.  They are a ministry of the Mennonite Church USA. 

So here’s my question:  if a small Christian insurance company determines that they need to raise rates a bit more than a 10% rate increase (a completely arbitrary threshold) that effects less than 5000 members and the state of Pennsylvania conducts whatever review they feel is necessary and determines this to be acceptable, why does HHS need to get involved at all? 

This is America.  We are (in theory) a capitalist nation.  If the small businesses who purchase insurance from Everence decide the increase is too much, they can switch to a different insurer.  If they don’t mind the idea of paying a little more and remaining with the small Mennonite insurer, they can do that too. 

Just thought this would serve as yet another illustration of the “good intentions” of the left leading to the ceaseless micromanagement of every aspect of our lives.

Comments

  1. please cite and/or print the exact language of the law.

  2. See page 47 here (Section 2794). http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/ppacacon.pdf

    Even the title of this section reaks of arrogance: “ENSURING THAT CONSUMERS GET VALUE FOR THEIR DOLLARS”. Can’t individual purchasers (be they persons or employers) do this? And if for some reason they cannot and additional regulation is necessary, shouldn’t this be a state function? Why do we need our tax dollars going to pay the salaries and pensions of Federal bureaucrats to analyze rate filings and scold insurers (including our Mennonite friends) that have ALREADY BEEN APPROVED by the states?

    That last part is key… this new Federal review is in addition to tens of millions of dollars in grant money that Obamacare gives to states to enhance their reviews of these same filings.