Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Gutteral Cry Of The ObamaCare Death Spiral

by JASmius

Remember the biggest carrot that the Obama Regime and the then-Democrat SuperCongress used to lure private health insurance carriers aboard the ObamaCare bandwagon?  It was called "risk corridors," and functioned as a financial backstop whereby to the degree that premium hikes didn't reimburse the insurers for the flood of old and sick people seeking full, comprehensive (i.e. ruinously expensive) coverage, the federal government would make up the rest of their losses.  This was the supposed "fix" for the "death spiral" of the private health insurance market that would otherwise inevitably ensure.

But in order for that "fix" to work, the feds have to keep up their end of the "risk corridors" bargain.

You see where this lede is headed, don't you?:

Insurers will get far less money than promised from the federal government this year — and a few billion dollars less than they requested — to help pay for their sickest customers.

Insurers learned late Thursday that they'll receive just $362 million out of the $2.9 billion in requested for 2014 for the program, according to an announcement by the [Commissariat] of Health and Human Services.

That's because a program created under the 2010 [Una]ffordable Care Act hasn't brought in nearly as much money as it needs to pay out....

Yet another ObamaCare feature, as opposed to "bug," as, in market terms, there simply isn't the demand for UCA-approved policies that was promised.  Which is to say, the young and healthy that were to have been the ostensible main source of subsidies for the old and sick have opted to pay the much more (heh) affordable fine "tax" instead.  And now the feds can plead "poverty" as they shove their suckers straight off the metaphorical cliff.

"Stable, affordable coverage for consumers depends on adequate funding of the risk corridor program," said Marilyn Tavenner, CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans. "It's essential that Congress and CMS act to ensure the program works as designed and consumers are protected."

But the UCA is working as designed, Miss Tavenner.  You and your fellow private health insurance carriers were supposed to get double-crossed and screwed.  You were just foolish and stupid and cowardly enough to buy The One's snake oil.  So I really, really hope you're not counting on a wave of sympathy rolling in your direction.

The administration insisted the insurers will still eventually get their entire payouts, sometime within the next two years of the temporary program. [emphases added]

Oh, did I neglect to mention that part?  Yes, the "risk corridors" program expires after 2016.  Which is also when the Employer mandate is currently (Barack Obama's pen and phone and putter not withstanding) scheduled to finally kick in, and kick all Americans into universal Medicaid (i.e. single-payer).

In the mean time, insurers will never get reimbursed, because they were never really supposed to.  And just think: They will not be permitted even the chance to learn from their suicidal mistake.

Pity the joke can't just be on them.

No comments: