Here we go: CMS letter to state regulators on ObamaCare “fix” hints at “risk corridor” bailout for insurers

posted at 4:41 pm on November 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Excellent catch by Chris Jacobs at Heritage. If you read the post about Rubio’s anti-bailout bill, you already know what “risk corridor” means.

rc

That’s the final paragraph of this new letter from CMS to state insurance commissioners, who are understandably chilly towards the idea of an un-cancellation logistical clusterfark being dropped on the industry with six weeks left in the year. So are insurance company executives, of course; they’re meeting with Obama today to express their “concern.” So here’s a pot-sweetener for them from CMS in the nick of time: If they decide to un-cancel some plans and end up taking a beating financially from the adverse selection that results, Uncle Sam will be there to make everything right. I must have read three dozen blog posts yesterday wondering how O would be able to keep insurers on his side, working together with the White House to implement Healthcare.gov and the rest of the law, now that he’s gone and made them scapegoats for the cancellation mess. Turns out the answer’s simple. He’s going to buy them off. When, not if, healthy consumers avoid the exchanges and re-claim their old coverage instead, insurers will be indemnified to some greater or lesser (read: greater) degree by the “risk corridor” provisions. It’s a transitional bailout, essentially.

Makes sense — and yet I’m still a little surprised. I thought yesterday’s “fix” was all about theater for public consumption, not a legit policy idea that O wants to see implemented. That’s why he didn’t demand that insurers un-cancel plans; he merely gave them the option in the hope that they won’t (or can’t) do it, at which point he’ll happily blame the whole cancellation fiasco on them. By offering them a bailout if they do do it, he’s giving them an incentive to do it, which means more adverse selection problems and a very politically unpopular bailout headache for Democrats to manage. But maybe he has no choice at this point. He needs to offer the industry an olive branch and this is one way to do it. He’s still hoping they don’t un-cancel anything, but if they do, he has no choice but to quietly pick up the tab.


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The GOP seems bound to screw this “gimme” up.

Bmore on November 15, 2013 at 4:42 PM

The Six Lies of Obamacare, hashed out in this headline thread.

(1) “If you like your policy, you can keep your policy.” LIE

(2) “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” LIE

(3) “Obamacare will bend the cost curve down. It will reduce the average American family’s health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year.” LIE

(4) “Obamacare won’t add one thin dime to the deficit.” HUGE LIE

(5) “What death panels?” (The IPAB!) LIE

(6) “Obamacare won’t affect Medicare recipients’ benefits.” LIE!

anotherJoe on November 15, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Was trying to flag this here two weeks ago but it never got any traction:

http://www.conservativeintel.com/2013/10/25/now-we-find-out-whats-in-it-obamacares-taxpayer-bailout-for-health-insurers/

[T]here are deep-in-the-weeds protections baked into the Affordable Care Act: risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors…

…[R]isk corridors will play the biggest role if the individual mandate does get delayed. Their entire purpose is to stabilize premiums during the first three years of Obamacare, when it’s especially difficult for insurers to price plans.

Here’s how it works: exchange plans (QHPs) projected how much their risk pool would cost overall in 2014, their “target” cost. If they’ve significantly miscalculated—or, say, if a mandate delay causes adverse selection that they couldn’t have predicted—HHS will take action…

can_con on November 15, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Anybody heard from the insurance company representatives meeting today….

What do the State Insurance Commissioners get…?

d1carter on November 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Whats he care, its our money…

PatriotRider on November 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

If they decide to un-cancel some plans and end up taking a beating financially from the adverse selection that results, Uncle Sam will be there to make everything right.

Just like with the bank bailouts after marxists caused the housing loan crisis ?

burrata on November 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

maybe he has no choice at this point. He needs to offer the industry an olive branch and this is one way to do it. He’s still hoping they don’t un-cancel anything, but if they do, he has no choice but to quietly pick up the tab.

“Quietly” my ass. If Obama’s solution to this clusterfark of his making is to bail out the insurers with taxpayer money to an even larger degree than Obamacare was already going to, this will become an even bigger disaster for the Dems in the midterms and will likely factor into 2016 as well. Rubio’s bill better become the centerpiece of the GOP opposition to Obamacare going forward if this story is accurate.

Doughboy on November 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Democrats, self-professed defenders of the little guy, sure do like to shovel cash to their rich friends in teh banking and insurance businesses.

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 4:47 PM

This will fly under the radar of the MSM and won’t get reported.

tommer74 on November 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

If insurance companies go along with this “let’s pretend” style of governing, they deserve whatever they got. I hope stockholders etc start filing blizzards of lawsuits to prevent the CEO’s from purposefully breaking the law.

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Yep, this law is a black hole with little mouse holes all through it…and paid for by the American taxpayers. It’s nothing more than wealth transfer disguised as a health care plan.

d1carter on November 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

This will fly under the radar of the MSM and won’t get reported.

tommer74 on November 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

They may try to downplay it, but it’ll be the #1 talking point of the GOP on the campaign trail. The word “bailout” is toxic with voters. Ironically, it could wind up being the Republicans who demonize(albeit indirectly) the insurers if Obama goes through with this.

Doughboy on November 15, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Remember way back yesterday morning when cancelled insurance plans had to happen because those plans were crapola?? Because ‘BIG INSURANCE’ was screwing you. The O just paid them off with our money to extend crapola plans through one more election cycle. So there’s that and a whole lotta racism coming for ya

drivingtheview on November 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM

he has no choice but to quietly pick up the tab

Rubio!! file the bill stat! Obama ain’t picking up the bill, we are!

This whole thing is exploding. Make sure Obama is the one that gets burned.

DanMan on November 15, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Your traditional hard-core statist, surveying the mountain of human wreckage he has wrought, usually says, “Well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” But Obama is the first to order that his omelet be unscrambled and the eggs put back in their original shells. Is this even doable? No. That’s the point. When it doesn’t work, he’ll be able to give another press conference blaming the insurance companies, or the state commissioners, or George W. Bush . . .

- Mark Steyn, Thus Spake Obama

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM

I hope stockholders etc start filing blizzards of lawsuits to prevent the CEO’s from purposefully breaking the law.

Akzed on November 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

I’m sure these CEO’s , after they kick back a substantial amount of taxpayer dollars from their bailout in to Jarret+Mooch’s accounts, will be protected from such lawsuits by Hussein. Remember, he has Julia Roberts in SCOTUS ready to please him !

burrata on November 15, 2013 at 4:53 PM

From the linked Rubio thread:

An insurer who’s offering a plan on the ObamaCare exchange sends a cost projection for that plan to HHS. If it comes in a bit under cost, they cut a check to HHS for the difference; if it comes in a bit over cost, HHS cuts them a check to make up the shortfall.

If there’s anything that shows that insurance companies are acting like little more than govt controlled zombie entities, it’s this.

There’s no incentive, none, for insurance companies to innovate, or for them to go out of their way to try to be efficient. They will just in a perfuntory way follow govt directives, so they might as well be calcified branches of govt, and in fact this is de facto (in practical effect) single payer! Obamacare is a nightmare.

anotherJoe on November 15, 2013 at 4:53 PM

“Too big to fail?”

fortcoins on November 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Uhh, I am thinking investors in insurance company stock may have a say so in this…this makes for some very slippery bookkeeping/unstable stock prices and I am hoping these board of directors get called on it….

hillsoftx on November 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

It is my understanding the risk corridor applies to exchange plans….period. If the HICs issue new nonexchange plans, they can not be given a subsidy……period. This assumes anyone cares about the law……what a silly thought.

David in ATL on November 15, 2013 at 4:55 PM

By offering them a bailout if they do do it, he’s giving them an incentive to do it, which means more adverse selection problems and a very politically unpopular bailout headache for Democrats to manage.

‘My opponent not only promised that you could keep your plan and your doctor, if you liked them, and we’ve seen how that is going to work out for you following the November elections, but s/he also voted to bailout Big Insurance with b/trillions of your hard-earned taxes.’

- Any Republican running next year

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

By offering them a bailout if they do do it, he’s giving them an incentive to do it, which means more adverse selection problems and a very politically unpopular bailout headache for Democrats to manage.

Where will Obama get the money to bail out the insurance companies? Doesn’t he need to ask Congress?

Steve Z on November 15, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Um you mean have the tax payer pick up the tab. Tax payers a scre#ed either way.

watertown on November 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

I heard that the risk management payment to insurance companies could not be applied for grandfather policies. It was in there as a incentive for insurance providers to get people to change there policies.

Is Obama changing the law again?

plutorocks on November 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

One would think that bailouts handed to “for profit” insurers might go against liberal ideology.

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

How is it a “bailout” when the costs to insurers will be 100% due to the government actions? This isn’t something the insurance companies had a choice in, Democrats controlled Congress and the White House and had the gun to the heads of the industry.

I don’t think it is legal for Obama to modify this or any other law to suit his whims or political needs, but it isn’t fair to scapegoat the insurance industry for his misdeeds and mistakes.

Adjoran on November 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

I knew that O’ had a stash, but I had no idea it was infinite.

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

He’s still hoping they don’t un-cancel anything, but if they do, he has no choice but to quietly pick up the tab.

Picking up the tab with his Taxpayer Express card.

Bitter Clinger on November 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Is Mr. Obama’s “fix” make these continued policies legal? No. The legal requirement remains on the books so the relevant health insurance plans remain illegal under federal law. The President’s decision does not change relevant state laws either. So insurers will still need to obtain approval from state insurance commissioners. This typically requires submitting rates and plan specifications for approval. This can take some time, and is disruptive because most insurance companies have already set their offerings for the next year. It’s no wonder that some insurance commissioners have already indicated they have no plans to approve non-compliant plans.

Perhaps, Mr. Obama’s “fix” is merely “undocumented” not “illegal.”
Yeah. These policies will just sneak in from Mexico or Canada.
Or at least that is Mr. Obama DREAM act.

J_Crater on November 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Where will Obama get the money to bail out the insurance companies? Doesn’t he need to ask Congress?

Steve Z on November 15, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I’m not sure, but some are suggesting that it’s written into the law. The real question is can Obama increase the amount of the bailout without going through Congress. I hope not, because that would be insane to allow the President to basically write a blank check to insurers like that. And what’s hilarious is that it seemingly goes against everything the Democrats claim to stand for. Not that they’d know about this clause of course since none of them ever read the bill.

Doughboy on November 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Somebody above made a similar point but the gop needs to be screaming BAILOUT from the rooftops. Skip the “risk corridor” legal speak and call it what it is.

Ellis on November 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I knew that O’ had a stash, but I had no idea it was infinite.

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

I wonder if our Chinese creditors know about this.

Bitter Clinger on November 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

From the Presidential Daily Briefing:

1. Single-payer is ahead of schedule

BobMbx on November 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Is there anything that the Feds have ever done, except maintain the military and wage war, that couldn’t be done cheaper, better and more efficiently on a state or local level? Best I can tell I get no real benefit from the federal government.

Oldnuke on November 15, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Next lie from BHO when it’s all over:

“Well the Republicans KNEW this was a bad idea and going to implode. Uh, er, it’s their fault for not trying to stop us.”

old school on November 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

By offering them a bailout if they do do it, he’s giving them an incentive to do it, which means more adverse selection problems and a very politically unpopular bailout headache for Democrats to manage.

King Barack is buying time. Unfortunately for him, even if his website starts working, people are in for sticker shock, with heightened premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

If the insurance companies drag out their canceled policies, those still will expire prior to the next election. And then add on the ‘employer mandate’ and a whole new group thrown out of their policies.

Remember The King saying that his new and improved health care would not raise the deficient ONE DIME?

Payback will be a bitch!

GarandFan on November 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Isn’t a bail out something that the Republicans can defund? I read the Rubio thread but surely the House can hold together and let Big Insurance know that this huge bail out will not happen.

And believe me it is only the big guys, United Health, Blue Cross, Aetna, etc. that are in on this little game. I am self employed and have had individual insurance for years with a little no name company. (Insurance we have been very happy with by the way!) We have even gone through a cancer illness and was never dropped! We just got our letter saying our policy was grandfathered and will not change. So from what I can tell, it was only the Big Guys in the exchange that didn’t meet the grandfather requirements. Hmmm, I wonder why?

This is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American people! Impeachment is looking like a more viable option against this POS!

texgal on November 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Bam-Bam doesn’t care if they take the bribe or simply shy away.

He just wants to buy their silence. And he will likely succeed with these whores, when in fact, if they went back to Harry & Louise commercials 24/7/365, they could bring down the whole BOcare monstrosity in 2014.

Cowards and whores. Surprise me.

matthew8787 on November 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM

(3) “Obamacare will bend the cost curve down. It will reduce the average American family’s health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year.” LIE

anotherJoe on November 15, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Well, something is being bent down.

agmartin on November 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Doughboy on November 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Yes, there is no way Obama is going to pick up this tab quietly.

Obama must have missed hearing about those town halls and Tea Parties. These are protests and political ads waiting to be unleashed.

INC on November 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Impeachment is looking like a more viable option against this POS!

texgal on November 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Obama could be performing satanic virgin sacrifices in teh Rose Garden and no one would move to impeach him.

Because black.

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 5:10 PM

‘My opponent not only promised that you could keep your plan and your doctor, if you liked them, and we’ve seen how that is going to work out for you following the November elections, but s/he also voted to bailout Big Insurance with b/trillions of your hard-earned taxes.’

- Any Republican running next year

Resist We Much on November 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Because of my Democrat opponent, you lost your insurance; you lost your doctor; and you pay twice as much for substandard insurance to see a doctor that you don’t want. And, all the while, the federal government is shoveling money directly into the insurance industry’s coffers.

besser tot als rot on November 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I thought yesterday’s “fix” was all about theater for public consumption, not a legit policy idea that O wants to see implemented. That’s why he didn’t demand that insurers un-cancel plans; he merely gave them the option in the hope that they won’t (or can’t) do it, at which point he’ll happily blame the whole cancellation fiasco on them. By offering them a bailout if they do do it, he’s giving them an incentive to do it, which means more adverse selection problems and a very politically unpopular bailout headache for Democrats to manage. But maybe he has no choice at this point. He needs to offer the industry an olive branch and this is one way to do it. He’s still hoping they don’t un-cancel anything, but if they do, he has no choice but to quietly pick up the tab.

Barack Obama has far too much invested in this than political theater. In order to keep his ‘signature legislation’ and achieve his ‘fundamental change’ goal, he has to move it forward and is basically promising even more copious amounts of taxpayer dollars to the insurers to not only covert the risks of the death spiral, but throw money at it to delay the worst of the impact.

Simply, he is still forgetting about the first rule of hole digging…and intends to get out of the hole by digging through to the other side.

Athos on November 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Are insurance companies going to change course and offer the old plans just on the President’s say-so? The law of the land says different. Are we still a nation of laws or l’etat c’est lui?

jdpaz on November 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

What ELSE has Obama been up to lately?

Chipping away at immigration law…and extending AMNESTY by executive fiat.

thatsafactjack on November 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Obama could be performing satanic virgin sacrifices in teh Rose Garden and no one would move to impeach him.

Because black.

Murphy9 on November 15, 2013 at 5:10 PM

You’re right and it’s a damn shame!

texgal on November 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Is this O’s ace? Man, if the dems try and pull a bailout to save Ocare then the Rs have to go to the mat to defund or repeal. They need to use the shutdown option if that’s the only way to do it. If the Dems subsidize this thing with fantasy money then it’s over – and no election will stop it. Monopoly money, once borrowed, trumps politics.

BoxHead1 on November 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM

I know I’m not supposed to call this fascist because I don’t want to be a Godwin’s Law cliche, but can someone please tell me how this is not fascism??

besser tot als rot on November 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Remarks by the President Before Meeting with Insurance Companies

Roosevelt Room

3:31 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: I want to welcome the executives who are here from a lot of the insurance companies that are participating in the marketplace. We all share a similar value, which is we want to make sure that Americans have good, solid coverage that gives them the security they need for themselves and their family members if and when they get sick.

And we know the demand is out there for that. We had, despite all the problems with the website, over a million people apply. Many multiples of that wanted to see what options were available. Obviously because of the problems with the website some folks have been blocked from seeing the well-priced benefits that are available in the marketplace, and so we’re working 24/7 to get it fixed. The website is working a lot better now than it was a couple of weeks ago.

And what we’re going to be doing is brainstorming on how do we make sure that everybody understands what their options are. Because of choice and competition, a whole lot of Americans who’ve always seen health insurance out of reach are going to be in a position to purchase it. And because of the law, we’re also going to be able to provide them help even if they are still having trouble purchasing that insurance. But they’ve got to know what those options are in order to be successful.

So I appreciate all these folks coming in. We’re going to be soliciting ideas from them. There’s going to be a collaborative process. We want to make sure that we get this done so that in the years to come every American is going to have the kind of affordable health care that they all deserve.

Thank you very much for being here.

END

kcewa on November 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM

I wonder if our Chinese creditors know about this.

Bitter Clinger on November 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

If he can cut deals like this with insurers, think what the Chinese could do to him.

“18% interest, you’ve got a deal”

antipc on November 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM

The little dictator is using our money to buy his way out of another fiasco.

rplat on November 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM

‘Risk Corridor’? Can we limit the gay sex threads please?

faraway on November 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM

besser tot als rot on November 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Godwin’s Law was rescinded a while back. Reality overcame it.

INC on November 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM

The real question is can Obama increase the amount of the bailout without going through Congress. I hope not, because that would be insane to allow the President to basically write a blank check to insurers like that. And what’s hilarious is that it seemingly goes against everything the Democrats claim to stand for. Not that they’d know about this clause of course since none of them ever read the bill.

Doughboy on November 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

I would also hope that the ACA legislation didn’t give the President a blank check, but on the other hand, the legislation did provide massive amount of power and control to the Executive Branch via the regulatory authority. That’s one of the reasons why the regulations are 10x larger than the legislation.

It could be very possible that they attempted to put all of this as a future obligation.

Another consideration – given this President’s lack of hesitation to act unilaterally, one can assume that the President would just take funds from anywhere else (Medicare??) to cover these costs. He’s already done something similar in diverting $500 million into the IRS for Obamacare (of which $67 million remains unaccounted for).

Athos on November 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Oh geeze, another Bailout!?!

Politically there couldn’t possibly be a worse time for it. How are you supposed to explain how you’re simultaneously vilifying insurers, while giving them billions in Bailout fund!?!

It’s like a perfect storm of crap, headed straight toward any Democrat up for election next year. XD

WolvenOne on November 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM

The new favorite song of insurance executives everywhere!
(To the tune of Al Stewart’s ‘Time Passages’)

It was late in December, the sky turned to snow
Obamacare enrollments were still really slow
Red ink like a river beginning to flow
I felt the beat of my mind go
Drifting into RISK CORRIDORS
Government bailouts in the fading light
RISK CORRIDORS
Buy me a ticket on a Caribbean Cruise tonight

Marcola on November 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Let’s go back to the very beginning. Remember how they did everything they could to show the cost of this would be under $1 trillion over 10 years so they could say it would “bend the cost curve down” to beat the predictions of continuing increases.

The CBO better have their hands on the calculations for this part of their estimate.

DanMan on November 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

He Lies. Period.

faraway on November 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

We The People should DEMAND to know what went on in that meeting! If the fix is in, how then do we UNFIX it

justonevictory on November 15, 2013 at 5:22 PM

The CMS Risk Corridor Program on page 4 and sections 1342 & 1343 say that risk management only applies to qualifies plans and not grandfather plans.

http://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/files/downloads/3rs-final-rule.pdf

So Obama is changing the law again.

plutorocks on November 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Get the paddles. Stat.

faraway on November 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Mask off:

John Podesta ✔ @johnpodesta
Follow

Just applied online for Medicare. Took 5 minutes. Single payer anyone?
2:00 PM – 14 Nov 2013

http://twitchy.com/2013/11/14/this-is-all-they-really-want-john-podesta-signs-up-for-medicare-calls-for-single-payer/?utm_source=autotweet&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=twitter

davidk on November 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM

There’s no doubt in my mind that the GOP will Homer this up. No doubt whatsoever.

Mr. Arrogant on November 15, 2013 at 5:26 PM

When the individual mandate was in SCOTUS everyone was saying “if they strike the mandate it’ll kill the whole law because that’s where the revenue comes from”

Baloney.

They would have plowed ahead anyway. They just don’t care about the money. They will print more. do whatever it takes. Anything that becomes inconvenient in the law will simply be ignored no matter the consequence. The only way to get rid of this ridiculous law is to get rid of Democrats and Republicans who don’t have the stomach for repealing it.

forest on November 15, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Risk corridor = iron lung

faraway on November 15, 2013 at 5:26 PM

I just did a run through Kos. In a brand new thread about how wonderful Obama was for fixing the grandfather issue so fast about 10 comments in some troll pasted an article about the risk corridor. This should get interesting.

DanMan on November 15, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Flukey offie

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2013 at 5:28 PM

John Podesta ✔ @johnpodesta
Follow

Just applied online for Medicare. Took 5 minutes. Single payer anyone?
2:00 PM – 14 Nov 2013

Obama’s Alinsky dream is almost fulfilled. This can turn on a dime.

The goal is to foment enough public discontent, moral confusion, and outright chaos to spark the social upheaval that Marx, Engels, and Lenin predicted

- a revolution whose foot soldiers view the status quo as fatally flawed and wholly unworthy of salvation. Thus, the theory goes, the people will settle for nothing less than that status quo’s complete collapse

- to be followed by the erection of an entirely new system upon its ruins. Toward that end, they will be apt to follow the lead of charismatic radical organizers who project an aura of confidence and vision, and who profess to clearly understand what types of societal “changes” are needed.

Viva la Socialism

faraway on November 15, 2013 at 5:29 PM

In other words obama will fluke the producers/workers, royally, even as the big Fraud/turkey flopped to earth.

Wake up already.

Schadenfreude on November 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

davidk on November 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM

They only take the mask off when they think that no one is looking.

Still, the single payer concept was pretty quickly run out of town on rails even with the Democrat super-majority when they first started ‘thinking out loud’ about it in spring / summer 2009. To seriously propose it now in the wake of the EpicClusterFarkNado would really defy logic….

…but then, so does their vision and agenda.

Athos on November 15, 2013 at 5:33 PM

The insurance companies could have and should have fought this tooth and nail. The scheme is designed to destroy the private market and move to a one payer system run by the geniuses in Washington. The President said it and Harry Reid confirmed it. They were bought off by the mandate and now again they are being bought off. Massive fraud on a scale Madoff couldn’t dream of and now bribery that could reach in the billions. This is the most corrupt President in history.

Rancher on November 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

So Obama is changing the law again.

plutorocks on November 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Yep – they said it in the last line of the letter. I’m sure they will change the rules to include grandfathered plans.

We intend to explore ways to modify the risk corridor program final rules to provide additional assistance.

tommer74 on November 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

faraway on November 15, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Barry himself was telling the SEIU and other union thugs that while single payer was the goal, it was still a ways off, a decade or two, IIRC.

That said, I don’t doubt that Obama is working to implement Alinsky+Cloward/Piven to achieve his ‘fundamental change’ to ‘fix’ what he sees is an unjust and unfair system in an unjust, unfair, and broken country.

Obamacare was an interim step that they needed. That’s why it was designed to implode down the road, after 2016 and before 2023. What these geniuses didn’t realize is that in building it to implode, even with the delays and shenanigans, it was going to implode on Day 1.

Athos on November 15, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Where will Obama get the money to bail out the insurance companies? Doesn’t he need to ask Congress? Steve Z

The money comes from taxes the insurance companies have to pay. So they will get a hefty refund. I believe there is 10 billion allocated for the risk management program.

plutorocks on November 15, 2013 at 5:41 PM

The CMS Risk Corridor Program on page 4 and sections 1342 & 1343 say that risk management only applies to qualifies plans and not grandfather plans.

http://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/files/downloads/3rs-final-rule.pdf

So Obama is changing the law again.

plutorocks on November 15, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Not really. The Obamacare plans are where the insurance companies will lose money. If they begin to offer the cancelled plans again, they stand to gain more money from the cheaper now-non cancelled plan pool and a taxpayer bailout from the much sicker Obamacare pools.

txhsmom on November 15, 2013 at 5:57 PM

In the spirit of cooperation the insurance executives should agree to Obama’s latest plan. If they receive a Presidential Pardon and a Pardon from every state governor for the state laws that will be broken.

meci on November 15, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Obama will soon declare at state of emergency with the healthcare system and decree everyone must get their healthcare through the government….
;-)

albill on November 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Just like with the bank bailouts after marxists caused the housing loan crisis ?

burrata on November 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

90% of the housing bubble happened under Bush and a Majority Republican congress. So I am guessing you are including them as Marxists. I agree with you.

astonerii on November 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

astonerii on November 15, 2013 at 6:24 PM

How’s that Hope and Change workin’ out for you? Oh, and the Congress under Bush was run by Nazi and Harry when the Housing Bubble popped.

txhsmom on November 15, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Where will Obama get the money to bail out the insurance companies? Doesn’t he need to ask Congress?

Steve Z on November 15, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Don’t be silly, the president has the power to act unilaterally if Congress is harshing his mellow.

It’s all there in the Good and Welfare clause.

RINO in Name Only on November 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Here’s what you don’t get: A guy who runs trillion dollar deficits doesn’t really care about how much money he spends. He will gladly shovel as much taxpayer money as needed to fix his political problem. Does it make Obamacare fiscally unsustainable? Sure, but so is 18 trillion dollars of debt. He will keep bailing out the insurers for as long and as much as it takes.

After all, in Obama’s America, it’s the people who care about trillion dollar deficits that are the crackpots, so who cares if we add a few trillion more for people to keep their health insurance affordable?

blue13326 on November 15, 2013 at 6:38 PM

As long as he can use our money to make himself and get / keep plenty of liberals in office it’s all good, right?

Isn’t that what we pay taxes for?

Guess since union dues are drying up all over, it’s time to use our tax dollars the same way. To keep one party in power, regardless of the wishes of the dues/tax payers.

Oxymoron on November 15, 2013 at 6:52 PM

* make himself look good…

Oxymoron on November 15, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Like a pyromaniac offering to pay, with other people’s money, for some lumber to build a replacement house.

VorDaj on November 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Ever wonder what it would be like if somehow a mentally deranged mental six year old became President? Well, now you know.

VorDaj on November 15, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Not really. The Obamacare plans are where the insurance companies will lose money. If they begin to offer the cancelled plans again, they stand to gain more money from the cheaper now-non cancelled plan pool and a taxpayer bailout from the much sicker Obamacare pools.

txhsmom on November 15, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Not for healthy people they aren’t. They make a killing off of healthy people being forced to buy into the system. The cheaper plans are the ones that could only be offered to healthier people because they are cheaper to insure. Giving them an opportunity to stay on those plans means they have to absorb losses on the expensive Obamacare compliant plans, since only sick people will be left. Which, I guess, would usually mean they’d have to jack up rates on the latter, except that it’s quite likely many of the sickest people have already signed up, especially if they are making enough to know they are ineligible for the subsidy (meaning they could just use ehealth). So I doubt they can raise the rates at this point for those people.

A healthy person on a grandfathered plan is I suppose a mixed bag – on the one hand, if they’re already a modestly profitable customer, even on the cheaper plan, then that’s (on average) a guaranteed profit if you keep them with your company. Throw them off their plan, so that they have to go shopping, then they are forced to pay double or triple or five times as much, and getting them becomes a small windfall, but on the other hand, you only have a small chance of being the one who gets their business, since they might go elsewhere, and especially since they’re potentially annoyed that you threw them away. So, maybe a bird in the hand is better.

In the aggregate, though, keeping them on their old plans probably makes it hard to make a profit, especially if its too late to jack up rates. So there is plenty of motivation for insurers to collude, if at all possible, and come to a general agreement not to let people stay on their old plans – then all the healthy people get released, and the insurers essentially just trade their customers back and forth so that it evens out, and they all make 4 or 5 or 10 times as much on each healthy person. Which, of course, they promptly lose on the sick people.

And there is plenty of opportunity for collusion, since there aren’t that many big players in the market, and its almost impossible for any new players to come in and undercut them in such a heavily regulated environment.

Of course, this all assumes the individual mandate/ general desire for at least some kind of healthcare is enough to keep healthy people in the market. If it isn’t, then the industry is screwed, absent a giant bailout, hence this thread topic.

So many fun surprises coming up. I just can’t wait to find out what other buried treasures there are hidden in this act.

RINO in Name Only on November 15, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Before the WH meeting someone had told me that the insurers had been given something, I guess now we know what it is.

Chuckles3 on November 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM

So full speed ahead on bankrupting the nation!

He is destroying the country before the end of his term, though, a little more quickly than planned. How is he going to explain that?

PattyJ on November 15, 2013 at 7:55 PM

BIDEN: “It’s time… let’s talk, Barry.”

leftnomore on November 15, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Bribery with taxpayer money. Nice.

Philly on November 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

…it’s just paper and ink!

KOOLAID2 on November 16, 2013 at 3:53 AM

There is nothing that Obama cannot accomplish if the only thing between him and success are people who get weak in the knees at the thought of gaining access to a few crumbs falling from Bernanke’s magic money machine.

Nomas on November 16, 2013 at 7:44 AM

That meeting with the insurance ceo’s yesterday was just like the bank bailout. Get ‘em all in a room and make them take a deal they can’t refuse. Chicago style all the way. Getting scraps from the govt largesse table is no way to run a business.

Kissmygrits on November 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM

You mean Obummer is going to GIVE money to those lousy insurance companies that have denied poor sick people insurance, treated people badly, kicked toddlers?
Maybe those bad insurance companies have mended their ways since Obummer’s last speech.
Sure I bet that’s it!

Herb on November 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM

How many more shoes will be dropped as we find out what is in this accursed law? Did SCOTUS know about this “risk corridor”? Is it constitutional to guarantee against private losses with federal revenues? And if so, why?

flataffect on November 17, 2013 at 12:11 AM

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