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Stand up your eggs!


This jumped at me from the  Q & A session from TPM

7.     What will the insurance companies be required to do in return for the 40 million or so new customers and the $70 Billion in revenue they will get as a result of the mandate and subsidies?

Nothing.  They are not required to do anything in return for the mandate.

Why should they? It’s their bill.

And from there I decided to go on the memory lane – the historical memory lane from insurers drafting board to law of the land:

December 2008: Insurers draft the bill

or as Boston Globe puts it

Insurers announce health reform proposals

What they offered is what they are voting on today

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.

well, almost. They seem to have gotten a break on their own offer – for the next 4 years, only kids won’t be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

For the adults. From the White House press conference, March 18

“preexisting condition provision of the legislation doesnâ€t take effect for another four years, and Iâ€m wondering if you could tell us, was that a concession, and if so, who fought for that and what did they — what did you get in return?

MR. GIBBS: There is —

Q For adults, that is.

MR. GIBBS: Right. Well, again, the — as I described earlier and as the President has described, there are certain things that cannot be instituted until you have everyone in the system. “

So, they got what they wanted without even being required to do what they offered from the get go.

Back to their proposal in December

Insurers oppose the creation of a Medicare-style public insurance option, which both President-elect Barack Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus have proposed, which they believe will force private companies to compete with government on an uneven playing field. The insurers also do not support an employer mandate.

Check and check.

And while nonchalantly letting the Congress appearing to be in control of the drafting of the plan, insurers were repeatedly being reassured that Obama had a fallback plan

The White House measure appears designed to entice moderate Democrats and perhaps even Republicans into supporting a health care overhaul if legislative efforts in Congress fail or if they move too far to the left.

Who figured it out that the fall back was the original AHIP plan from December? I confess, it took me a while.

But I wasn’t fooled for a second by Obama’s transparent attack on the insurers recently as a strategy to fool again mindless B0bots and put pressure on Congress by implying that voting against the insurers bill would put them on the side of the evil insurers.

A clever “don’t throw me into the briar patch” construct that fooled many.

From Jane Hamsher’s fact sheet


2. Insurance companies hate this bill


This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009. The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.

And sure enough, after they decided they no longer needed 60 votes but only a reconciliation, the fallback plan came out, and it’s what you will get.

Of course, the story could be – and was told way shorter

Insurance CEO fronts Obama, steals election for him, writes HCR

Those deals with Pharma and the hospitals industry that shock everybody – they were just the tiny cherry on top…

I might need an update later – not all papers are out.

Stars and Stripes reminds us what we’re doing to others elsewhere

We are screamed at in WaPo

.There’s a holly war in Boston –  over women’s right to chose again

O’Malley urged the administration to slow down and fix the $940 billion bill by ensuring the Hyde Amendment is “enshrined” in the measure.

In NY, the 9.11 settlement makes news as the judge refuses to sanction it as unfair

While Ny Post has one of those “historical” contextual jewels I couldn’t leave out

Not Your Sweetie