Robert Pear of the New York Times reports that:

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

So how is it that the Affordable Care Act makes insurance more expensive?  Simple:

Marinan R. Williams, chief executive of the Scott & White Health Plan in Texas, which is seeking a 32 percent rate increase, said the requests showed that “there was a real need for the Affordable Care Act. People are getting services they needed for a very long time. There was a pent-up demand. Over the next three years, I hope, rates will start to stabilize.”

Perhaps.  But, then, maybe as rates climb and the insurers merge until there are only a few very big players, functioning as an arm of the government, there will be more and more pressure to go all the way to a “single payer system” of the sort that Bernie Sanders has long proposed and that gets his supporters’ juices jangling.

After which, health care in the United States will be delivered by the government, on the one hand, and by a cash-only system on the other, available only to people for whom it is …