…and only one of the two will survive.
Understand this: the health insurance industry is very much to blame for Obamacare. The health insurance industry happily got naked and jumped into the sack with Obama on his health insurance scheme. They did so thinking that he would leave them a fat, sweaty wad of cash on the night table in the form of forcing everybody in the country to buy their products, and in the process he would make them something akin to a public utility with a pre-ordained profit margin.
Except something happened on the way to conjugal bliss; namely, the president and his minions proved to be a bit flaccid when it came to providing the means by which they would release a torrent of customers to the insurers. The Healthcare.gov website is notoriously impotent, and the health insurance industry finds itself unsated.
Further, Obama is in no position to leave any money by the bedside. In fact, he’s sneaking out of the house before sunrise. And what’s more, he and his friends are about to blame the whole failed escapade on the health insurance business, after warning them to keep their trap shut about his wilting lily.
Obama – and the rest of the Democrat Party – is now embracing the idea of resurrecting the insurance policies his law killed, since so far the effect of Obamacare has been to turn 5 million Americans into uninsured while signing up 100,000 for his new exchanges. But those policies can’t be resurrected; it’s a logistical and economic nightmare to do so. Three years ago it would have been possible to provide for current insurance plans to survive, but on October 1 they died. The bodies, in most cases, have already been buried.
And Obama and the Democrats know this. The Landrieu plan? Obama’s “administrative fix” he announced today? Pure window dressing. They’re not quite as stupid as they sound in thinking that resuscitating a business model they killed can happen within a matter of weeks. Landrieu’s plan is even more ridiculous – not only does she think she can resuscitate that business model, she wants to command that it happen. Maybe she’s that stupid, maybe she’s not – but all of her fellow Democrats now signing on to that idea aren’t that moronic.
Whether those legislative panaceas are passed or not, the insurance industry is not going to be able to re-offer those old plans. Obamacare has destroyed the system of risk pools on which the industry used to float, and so to offer the old plans for healthy individual-market consumers at the old rates while attempting to meet the new requirements of community rating and guaranteed issue in Obamacare simply isn’t possible. Not unless the industry were to receive a massive bailout from the federal government.
Now, Obamacare provides for that bailout – but its required size to make this scheme work is going to be so high as to make it politically impossible to fulfill that promise. And even if the money were to be there, the provider agreements that were blown up when those pre-Obamacare plans were outlawed are all gone. They’d have to be reconstituted, and it’s not possible to reconstitute many of them – not when doctors are leaving the field left and right.
It can’t be undone. If the Democrats didn’t know that when they passed Obamacare, or when they called Republicans arsonists and terrorists for trying to defund this insanity last month, they’re beginning to recognize that now. And it will only become clearer as the insurance industry puts its clothes back on…
“Making sure consumers have secure, affordable coverage is health plans’ top priority. The only reason consumers are getting notices about their current coverage changing is because the ACA requires all policies to cover a broad range of benefits that go beyond what many people choose to purchase today.
“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers. Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace. If now fewer younger and healthier people choose to purchase coverage in the exchange, premiums will increase and there will be fewer choices for consumers. Additional steps must be taken to stabilize the marketplace and mitigate the adverse impact on consumers.”
What happens now is the Democrats attempting to pin the imminent failure of their attempts at reissuing pre-Obamacare plans on the greedy, heartless insurance industry they’ve been demonizing off and on since the push for Obamacare started years ago.
Because if the Democrats can’t blame the failure on the insurers, the public will blame the Democrats.
And since most of the key players on the Left are big fans of single-payer socialized medicine in the first place, they’re not going to be in a position to take prisoners. Their political survival rests on blaming the insurers and asking the public to believe that single-payer is the only way to provide access to the health care system for all.
Which means the health insurance industry either wins the PR war against the Democrat Party, or it may not survive. It might not want to be part of the political maelstrom, but it’s in there. It had better recognize that if the public doesn’t understand that Obamacare is making it impossible for them to do business in a rational, functional manner, the public will be made to believe it’s the insurers’ avarice and intransigence causing all the suffering.
Democrats don’t know how to govern. Democrats barely understand how to sell a positive message. What Democrats are very good at is demonization and destruction, Alinsky-style. And now that their political survival is at stake, their guns will be trained on the health insurance industry.
The insurers had better be ready. They might not have wanted to go to war – in fact they did everything they could to avoid it when Obamacare first came to the forefront. But war is coming to them.