Insurance Companies Got Thrown Under the Bus Today. And They Know It.

Well, so much for the implicit gag order Obama has had on the insurance companies.  Bet we will find out a lot more interesting details about the exchange rollouts now.

[T]he White House has its own idea to stop the bleeding: Allow insurers to renew existing plans in 2014 (which means they could continue into 2015) while forcing them to send Landrieu-like letters explaining why their plans don’t conform to the Affordable Care Act’s standards.

This doesn’t really ensure anyone can actually keep their plan — which means it also doesn’t affect premiums in the exchanges. But it makes it easier for Democrats to blame insurers for canceling these plans. And it perhaps makes it easier for the White House to stop congressional Democrats from signing onto something like Landrieu or Udall.

The insurance industry is furious. They’ve been working with the White House to get HealthCare.Gov up and running and they’ve been devoting countless man hours to dealing with the problems and they’ve been taking the heat from their customers over canceled plans, and now the Obama administration wants to make them into a scapegoat.

“This doesn’t change anything other than force insurers to be the political flack jackets for the administration,” an insurance industry insider told Evan McMorris-Santoro. “So now, when we don’t offer these policies, the White House can say it’s the insurers doing this and not being flexible.”

This is like telling GE to reintroduce 100 watt lightbulbs on thirty days notice, and then blaming them if they don't do it.  Or as I tweeted earlier,

 Update:  Left rallying around Obama, spreading the word that cancellations are all the insurance companies' fault.  I am SO glad I am not affiliated with a political party such that I would feel the need to embarrass myself to support some flailing politician on my team.

The Left has been calling cancelled policies "sub-standard" for months now.  For three years Obama's own folks were estimating that over half of individual policies would have to be cancelled due to the law, and in fact they purposely wrote the regulations narrower to invalidate the maximum number of policies.  But now cancellations are the insurance companies' fault??


  1. DensityDuck:

    I'd say it's more like a prosceutor saying "I need you at the courthouse at 8 AM to give testimony", and you saying "I can't possibly make it there with traffic as bad as it is", and the prosecutor saying "that's OK, just drive in the carpool lane". I can't do something illegal just because a member of the government said it was OK.

  2. Bram:

    Hilariously impossible for insurance companies to do any of this. You can't create a plan out of thin air, get state approval, and offer it to the public in a matter of weeks.

  3. Bob K:

    One state has already decided not to allow Obama's fix. At least until he gets slapped down.

    Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says those changes will not be allowed in his state.

  4. MingoV:

    Left-winger definitions:

    Substandard = Allowed only if it serves our goals.

    Cooperation = We work with you today to better screw you tomorrow.

    Apology = We admit that someone else was to blame.

    Statistics = Wrong information that we eventually correct and release at 5 pm on Fridays.

    Honesty = We never saw that word.

  5. mesaeconoguy:

    LOL Hope you still have health coverage after that tweet, coyote…

    The Kevin Dumb piece is hilariously childish.

  6. mesocyclone:

    Libertarian definition: "No matter what happens, it's not *my* fault." It's easy to throw stones at both parties.

  7. mahtso:

    "I am SO glad I am not affiliated with a political party such that I would feel the need to embarrass myself to support some flailing politician on my team."
    I think the blogger misconstrues what is going on: it is not loyalty to the party, but rather loyalty to an ideology. That the ideology finds its home in the Democrat party, but not the Republican party is why coke is not pepsi.

  8. lelnet:

    I've got a lot of sympathy for people whose coverage is being cancelled. They're the first victims of this travesty, although by no means will they be the last victims, or the biggest victims.

    No sympathy at all for the insurance industry, though. They went along with this as long as it seemed like it would feather their own nests, and now come crying about how "unfair" it is that the government is trying to shift the blame for its failures onto them. Well guys, as my grandmother always said, if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. You tried to bargain with the devil, actively helping to cement Americans' liberty even further under the cruel boot of government oppression than it already don't deserve this, you deserve FAR WORSE than this. In a just world, every insurance industry leader who voluntarily participated in the development of ObamaCare in any way would be facing a _firing squad_, not just a bad public relations hassle.

    (Why, sure I understand differential culpability. That's why I'd have the insurance execs executed by a relatively quick means. The politicians, of course, would have to be tortured first.)

  9. Gdn:

    Cooperated..."that's a nice company you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it.".

    Companies that spoke up got identified - specifically - as being evil and greedy. Approval requirements to even offer plans. Four year lockouts for any that didn't initially participate.

    "Cooperated" in this situation basically meant failure to shut down your company.