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Health Insurers: “We’re Shocked, Shocked to Learn the Bill Benefits Us”

Shocked, SHOCKED! at the benefits to insurers (photo: truester via Flickr)

Who could have predicted? Now that the mandate to purchase private health insurance is the law of the land, America’s health insurers have decided it’s okay to reveal, well, uh, they really liked the bill’s basic structure all along.

Suzy Khimm from Mother Jones gets the story:

The industry’s main trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, has announced that it will join Enroll America, a new non-profit devoted to registering those people who will newly qualify for insurance subsidies or Medicaid under the law.

After spending massive sums in an attempt to defeat the bill, why are insurers suddenly eager to help the reforms succeed? “It’s good business for them,” says Families USA’s Ron Pollack, who is heading up the Enroll America effort. “All of them will benefit from a business plan standpoint to extend coverage.”

[snip]

In truth, the Democratic reforms were never as punishing to the insurance industry as AHIP (or the Democrats themselves) made them out to be. The government-run public option—private insurers’ biggest bugbear—never made it into the final bill. Neither did the repeal of the anti-trust exemption for the industry. The excise tax on high-cost insurance plans got scaled back significantly in the reconciliation fixes.

I’m shocked, shocked.

“Your gambling winnings, sir”

“Thank you, very much.”

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Health Insurers: “We’re Shocked, Shocked to Learn the Bill Benefits Us”

Who could have predicted? Now that the mandate to purchase private health insurance is the law of the land, America’s health insurers have decided it’s okay to reveal, well, uh, they really liked the bill’s basic structure all along.

Suzy Khimm from Mother Jones gets the story:

The industry’s main trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, has announced that it will join Enroll America, a new non-profit devoted to registering those people who will newly qualify for insurance subsidies or Medicaid under the law.

After spending massive sums in an attempt to defeat the bill, why are insurers suddenly eager to help the reforms succeed? "It’s good business for them," says Families USA’s Ron Pollack, who is heading up the Enroll America effort. “All of them will benefit from a business plan standpoint to extend coverage."

[snip]

In truth, the Democratic reforms were never as punishing to the insurance industry as AHIP (or the Democrats themselves) made them out to be. The government-run public option—private insurers’ biggest bugbear—never made it into the final bill. Neither did the repeal of the anti-trust exemption for the industry. The excise tax on high-cost insurance plans got scaled back significantly in the reconciliation fixes.

I’m shocked, shocked.

"Your gambling winnings, sir"

"Thank you, very much."

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

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