President Obama will call for new government power to regulate insurance-rate increases as part of comprehensive changes to the health-care system that the White House will unveil on its Web site Monday, senior officials said.
The proposal -- part of a package that a top official said will serve as a "starting point" for the bipartisan health summit Thursday -- comes as Obama has pointed to recent rate increases as evidence that his proposed changes are necessary.
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius drew attention to a California health insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross, which planned rate increases of up to 39 percent. Obama mentioned the increases in his weekly radio address and at a town hall in Nevada.
The new proposal, which a White House official described Sunday night, would give Sebelius new authority to oversee, and potentially block, rate increases that are deemed unfair.
VH: I'm sure that this will work out like other price control schemes have since time immemorial---It will fail miserably. It will make insurance premiums even more unaffordable. You would think that all those Ivy league economists that buzz around the White House would have a clue.