Just a thought as federal and state policymakers make speeches about putting a lid on the rates charged by private insurers. One of the best kept secrets of health care reimbursement rates is that the federal and state payers, Medicare and Medicaid, do not pay rates that are fully compensatory. This means that private insurers pick up the subsidy for the public plans and include those costs in their rates so that hospitals and doctors can be kept whole.
So . . . the fastest way to hold down insurance rate increases would be for the federal and state governments to pay their fair share. Of course, then someone would have to increase taxes. This takes political courage and a commitment not to hide the full costs of government programs. How much better to use the insurance companies as tax collectors instead.