As if to justify the recent vitriolic castigation of insurance companies, this L.A. Times article chronicles how the insurance companies stand to reap huge windfalls from “health reform.” These anticipated windfalls would be achieved at a direct cost to those that insurers are supposed to insure. For example, a new move in the Senate Finance Committee would require insurers to cover only 65% of an insured’s costs in order to qualify for the Exchange, even though the current inadequate norm is over 80%. Such windfalls were articulated (here and here) by the NESRI/NHeLP Human Right to Health program as an eminently predictable outcome of any market-based health reform effort, but the corporate socialism catalogued below goes well beyond what is inherent in any such approach. In short, the insurance companies are getting their money’s worth for the millions and millions of dollars they are spending every week to influence this process. The only potential fly in their ointment, of course, would be a public plan offering better value than their plans (a low standard, that), so they are now fully engaged in trying to kill even that pale imitation of a functional single payer system. The more things change . . .
Posted by Steve Hitov, National Health Law Program