Nah. You just talked about subsidies. You said: "They're not going to help here, because our situation is exactly what the law calls for. If you're making more than $60k, you don't GET subsidies, you have to GIVE subsidies to other people (like you)."
Exactly. If you don't qualify for subsidies, then there IS NO CHEAPER MAGIC SOLUTION than those that the regulated insurance companies in the state advertise. They don't have the option of having secret cheaper-than-the-exchange plans. So if you call a hotline and complain that your new insurance plan is too expensive, their ONLY OPTION is to try to find a way to qualify you for a plan that somebody else is forced to help you buy. Otherwise, the price is what the price is.
Especially the one that pointed out that it was those very same insurers that you implicitly praise that raised their rates to where they are now.
For which they had no choice. They are required by law to suddenly provide a range of coverage that was not previously built into their pricing. If you were suddenly told that you had to provide a bunch of new services or else, would you just eat the loss, or raise your prices in order to maintain your business? Insurance companies work on smaller margins than companies in many, many other industries. Remove that margin, and they are out of business. Now, that may be what the ACA backers secretly want, but in the meantime, you raise your prices to deal with the fact that your government has just substantially raised your costs.
They *knew* that they had just a few years before those rates became government controlled
They've always been government controlled. Every state in the union has an insurance regulating body to which those companies must turn for approval in order to change rates. And each of those scenarios plays out in something of a vacuum, because laws prevent insurance companies from providing services across state lines. The government has been entirely in control of this stuff for decades (as if you didn't know that!).
In civilized parts of the world, that would be considered collusion and price fixing.
No, it's known as state regulation. The companies who have a very innovative way to deliver the same (government approved) class of services with less overhead MAY be able to offer a lower price if they can survive doing so. But there's generally very, very little latitude in the cost/price recipe before the insurer is on intolerably thin ice.