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What’s going on? Insurers clearly told Obama whatΒ  “healthcare reform” they wanted, everyone was happily going their way and then suddenly the happiness stopped.

Insurers went on the attack, contesting the CBO report that money will be saved.

No sooner did they do that, GOP public endorsements dried up too

At the same time, White House officials were forced to retreat from plans to tout Republican endorsements of Obama’s top domestic policy initiative. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel instructed the Democratic National Committee on Sunday to withdraw a pro-reform television commercial featuring former Senate Republican leader Robert J. Dole, after he objected that his words were being used for partisan purposes.

So, what happened?

Over at the Confluence, SOD caught a candid paragraph from a Politico piece

First, they said, the bill would require insurance companies to sell coverage to all applicants and would prohibit them from considering health status in setting rates. But, they said, the penalties for going without coverage are modest, so the β€œindividual mandate” is weak.

For those of us, waking out later, the paragraph got scrubbed, all being left behind being

“Insurance companies have also balked at the watered-down individual mandate in the Finance bill.”

Why did Politico remove the clue?

Although Robert Pear’s article in the NYT still has it

From the actual report that Politico posted

A weak individual coverage requirement, coupled with a guarantee issue requirement, no pre-
existing condition limits and no rating based on health status;

Or, as the Hill article puts it

The result, they contend, is a level of coverage that would fail to produce the increase in business they need to offset the revenue they would lose

So, how many times do insurers have to drill this into Obama’s head?

Insurers oppose the creation of a Medicare-style public insurance option,

The insurers also do not support an employer mandate.

Insurers would agree to stop denying coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions as long as all individuals were required by law to buy insurance.

Simple enough. It was quid pro quo – insurers drop the preexisting conditions is everyone is mandated to buy from them (and no one else)

What part of “do as we say” didn’t Obama get? He obeys, they’ll support it. He doesn’t, they crush the so called reform – after all, it’s not like they have it all that bad now.

Not Your Sweetie

October 2009