America's health insurers are raising rates by up to 26% despite the fact that President Obama was dead-set on curbing such increases, the New York Times reports. California's Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and Blue Shield of California have proposed increases of 26%, 22%, and 20%, respectively, on certain customers, while insurers in states like Florida and Ohio have increased some people's rates by at least 20%. "This is business as usual," says California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "It’s a huge loophole in the Affordable Care Act."
ObamaCare does require that regulators examine any request for a double-digit rate increase, but only in 37 states can the regulators actually deny or decrease rates (one such state, New York, roughly halved a proposed increase to 4.5%). Consumer advocates say health-care costs don't justify big increases, but insurers insist that medical costs for some customers are far outpacing that of the average policy holder. And federal regulators argue that ObamaCare has at least limited insurance premiums, while capping profits and getting rebates from insurers who overcharge. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)