“Today, Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration are desperate to do something you may find surprising: give the insurance companies more than about $2.5 billion in bail out money.
That’s not a misprint. They want to take tax money from people who already think their premiums are too high and their coverage too skimpy and give it to the very “villains” they were excoriating only a few years ago.
Here’s the back story. Under a program called “risk corridor” insurance, the federal government pledged to redistribute money from insurers who made profits to insurers who incurred losses for a period of several years. The reason: the insurance industry was so uncertain about the outcome of the (Obamacare) health insurance exchanges that they insisted on a backup mechanism to protect themselves.
Yet last year’s appropriations bill, largely at the insistence of Sen. Marco Rubio, requires that the risk corridor payments be revenue neutral. In other words, any payment of funds to an insurance company suffering from a deficit must come from insurance companies who earned a profit. There can be no net transfer of taxpayer funds to the industry.
The problem is that in 2014 most of the carriers lost, and lost big. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, for example, lost almost $400 million. United Healthcare, the nation’s largest private insurer announced the other day that it may pull out of the individual insurance company market altogether in 2017. For the coming year United Healthcare has announced that in most states it is ending all advertising and ceasing all broker commissions for plans sold in the Obamacare exchanges. Cigna just announced that it may leave the market as well.” - The Biggest Threat To Obamacare Is Already Written Into Law: No Insurance Industry Bailouts, forbes.com, 12/10/2016
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