In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how the Biden Administration is inexplicably resurrecting…
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Image of the Day: Internet Speeds INCREASED After Repeal of So-Called "Net Neutrality"

In our latest Liberty Update, we highlight how the Biden Administration is inexplicably resurrecting the zombie "Net Neutrality" that caused demonstrable harm to internet service during its mercifully brief lifetime at the end of the Obama Administration.  Once again, our friend economist Steve Moore illustrates one of the critical points in this debate well.  Namely, internet speeds shot back sharply upward after the Trump Administration FCC under Ajit Pai repealed the Obama FCC's Title II-Net Neutrality order:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="557"] Repealing "Net Neutrality" Increased Speeds[/caption]


October 03, 2023 • 09:14 AM

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ObamaCare's Bill Comes Due: Premium Hikes Up to 36.3% Coming Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 03 2015
The ugly reality, however inconvenient Obama may find it, is that his namesake healthcare law has disrupted that entire sector of our economy and resulted in claims and costs far higher than his projections.

During the first two years under ObamaCare, health insurers remained unable to assess what rates they must charge to cover the costs imposed by the new law. 

Now that such assessment is possible in its third year, insurers realize that the law has proven much costlier than anticipated, and they're desperately seeking premium increases accordingly. 

Or, to borrow from Nancy Pelosi, they passed the bill and now we're all beginning to pay for what's in it. 

This isn't what Barack Obama promised, of course.  In selling his proposal to the electorate, he assured us, "I also have a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums."  On the campaign trail in 2008, he was even more specific that things would be different with him in the White House: 

"Year after year, election after election, candidates make promises about fixing healthcare and cutting costs.  And then they go back to Washington, and nothing changes...  Well, we're here today because we know that if we're going to make real progress, this time must be different.  We know that since George Bush took office, premiums have gone up four times faster than wages, and Virginia families are now paying over 35% more for healthcare...  Well, I don't think the American people can afford another four years of a healthcare plan that does more to help the big drug and insurance companies than it does to lower costs for ordinary Americans.  We need to make healthcare affordable for every single American, and that's what I'll do as president...  In an Obama administration, we'll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.

Well, add that broken promise to such others as, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" and his Syrian chemical weapons red line.  

This summer, in defiance of admonitions from Obama himself, insurance commissioners in states across America have had no choice but to approve drastic rate increase requests from insurers. 

Tennessee offers the most conspicuous and instructive example.  Last week, Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak accepted a dramatic 36.3% rate increase by BlueCross, the state's largest insurer.  Elsewhere, consumers face the same disturbing prospect under ObamaCare.  In North Carolina, BlueCross seeks a 34% increase, and in Maryland CareFirst must raise premiums 31%.  In Kentucky, the commissioner already approved a 25.1% increase, and a 25.6% increase was approved in Oregon as well.  Multiple other states are experiencing the same sticker shock. 

What makes Tennessee particularly poignant, however, is not simply the magnitude of its increase but the fact that Obama himself visited the state in July and not-so-subtly tried to bully Ms. McPeak against such an embarrassing blow to ObamaCare.  "My expectation," he said, "is that they'll come in significantly lower than what's being requested."  In trademark fashion, he then encouraged residents to intimidate her so that she "does [her] job in not just passively reviewing the rates, but really asking, 'OK, what is it that you are looking for here?  Why would you need very high premiums?" 

Well, the simple answer to Obama, who has never operated so much as a sidewalk sandwich cart, is that BlueCross lost a massive $141 million last year complying with his law.  And since BlueCross insures nearly two-thirds of all Tennessee customers who purchased through exchanges, its example can hardly be dismissed as an anomaly. 

To her credit, Ms. McPeak pushed back against Obama's bullying tactic and even took a swipe at ObamaCare more broadly in an official release from her office: 

"Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak and our seasoned team of insurance regulators are not passively reviewing insurance rates for the coming year as the President suggested.  The Commissioner and our team have always taken the job of protecting Tennessee consumers seriously and are unafraid to ask hard questions of the companies we regulate in order to better protect consumers.  Commissioner McPeak's recent testimony to a subcommittee of the House Ways & Means Committee offers proof of our oversight as well as a snapshot of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Tennessee and insurers." 

The ugly reality, however inconvenient Obama may find it, is that his namesake healthcare law has disrupted that entire sector of our economy and resulted in claims and costs far higher than his projections. 

As the sun sets on his presidency, it will be up to the American people to elect a successor who can clean up the mess he created and offer a better plan for positive reform. 

Notable Quote   
"In the three months since President Joe Biden decided to campaign on the glories of 'Bidenomics,' inflation started creeping back up, the unemployment rate rose, and his approval ratings on the economy have steadily dropped. Now, stagflation is back in the news. All of it is leading Democrats to urge Biden to ... shift his messaging.Stagflation -- the combination of rising inflation, high unemployment…[more]
— Issues & Insights Editorial Board
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