President Obama failed to consult insurers before announcing a significant change to Obamacare that could require them to quickly take a variety of actions and will likely cause a significant adverse impact on their bottom line.
Because why do emperors have to talk to their subjects before decreeing divinely-inspired policies?
According to the New York Times, “many” insurers who attended a hastily called meeting Friday at the White House with Obama “expressed anger that the president had not consulted them before Thursday’s announcement.”
In a political move designed to quiet a rebellion among Democrats nervous about their reelection prospects next year, Obama Thursday had sought to partially make good on his promise that Americans could keep their health insurance by putting the onus on insurers to renew plans slated for cancellation under Obamacare – if they want to.
So now insurers are the bad guys if they don’t rescue people from losing their plans!
Meanwhile, those most likely to want to keep their plans are younger and healthier people. But these are the very people insurers are counting on to drop their plans and buy expensive insurance in the exchanges in order to subsidize the older, less-well people who are more likely to participate in Obamacare!
From the New York Times:
At the meeting, insurers emphasized their concerns that the president’s proposal could actually lead to higher insurance prices in 2015 and beyond by skewing the mix of customers in the new insurance marketplace. In other words, people who now have cheaper insurance — because their plans have fewer benefits — may still choose to keep them, rather than buying the new policies. Generally, those people are thought to be younger and healthier.
OMG, consumers keep acting in rational ways despite what the federal government wants them to do!
Insurers backed Obamacare, figuring the government was going to make them a picnic basket of gold nuggets by signing up all these new customers!
But instead of gold nuggets, the government is giving them CHICKEN NUGGETS . That’s what happens when you make a deal with the Devil. The Devil’s in charge.
States, which have to approve the Obama plan, are hopping mad too:
Logan Harrison, chief deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance, said his state had not decided how to proceed but the fact that they were having to scramble to do anything was maddening.
“This is absurd,” he said. The president, he said, made a “purely political decision” that punts his problem squarely into the laps of state insurance commissioners. “It’s unfair to us and our citizens.” A number of other state officials, both Democrats and Republicans, echoed Mr. Harrison’s frustration but were not willing to speak on the record.
This issue is arguably the biggest headache for the dozen or so states — from New York to California — that have their own exchanges, some of which are working reasonably well. “We did everything Obama wanted, and this is the thanks we get,” said one high-ranking official in a state with its own exchange. “I can’t tell you how fed up we are.”
Awww. That mean Obama! And who knew the federal government would ever do something absurd?
Here’s a video of Obama comforting an insurance industry official.