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The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. —James Madison, Speech in the Virginia State Convention of 1829-1830
End crony government corruption – the collusion of big, special-interest groups and venal government. Case in-point: the health insurance industry originally opposed ObamaCare. Then, knowing that Pelosi, Reid and Obama had votes in favor for ObamaCare, the health insurance "industry" decided they better be at the negotiation table. If not at the table, they feared the Industry could become badly damaged or destroyed.
After a lot of haggling, conniving and negotiating with the Obama Administration, the "Industry" concluded they achieved a good deal. ObamaCare forced everyone to buy insurance. Thus, the Industry would sell millions of more insurance policies. More importantly to the Industry, our government provided billions of dollars for “risk corridors” for three years – 2014 through 2016. The “risk corridor” transfers money from qualified health plan insurers (Obamacare) that have excessive profits to insurers that are losing money. In other-words, the “risk corridors” are to even-out profits and losses by the insurers in the start-up phase of ObamaCare. Health and Human Services (HHS) collects the money from the profitable insurers and disperses the money to the not profitable insurers.
Meanwhile, Congress and the President enacted the 2015 “Cromnibus” budget bill, which basically deems “risk corridor” payments by the government cannot exceed the money collected by HHS for the year of 2014. It sounds reasonable. The "Industry" and the Obama administration made the crony-capitalism-government corrupt deal. The "Industry" represented the experts on risk evaluation and calculated the amount of increased premiums to be received. Unfortunately, the American people were not represented for the crony government corruption. The American people should not be forced to bailout the Industry.
But what happens if the mandates of ObamaCare and risk assessments are wrong – or don’t work? What happens if young people don’t like the product or its cost? What happens if people game the system and wait to buy the insurance when they have big medical expenses? What happens if not enough healthy, young people choose not to purchase insurance to pay for the sick and the old?
Now, fast forward to last week. Stephen Hemsley, CEO of United Healthcare, our nation's biggest insurer, now realizes not enough young, healthy people bought the insurance to help pay for the old and unhealthy. “We (United Healthcare) can’t subsidize a market that doesn’t at this point appear to be sustaining itself.”
On October 1, Obama’s HHS told the Industry that they were only going to receive 13 cents on every dollar of loss. Devastatingly, their losses are enormous, and the Industry will only receive $362 million out of $2.9 billion of requested reimbursement.
As James Madison reasoned two centuries ago, always beware of crony, government corruption! Now, the government and "Industry" want the taxpayers to pay the insurers. Obamacare insider-crony, Marilyn Tavenner, who headed Obama’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS, that rolled-out ObamaCare), is now the CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (working for the Industry). Tavenner wrote to her friends in the Obama Administration, "We've been very clear with the administration about the serious challenges facing consumers and health plans in this Exchange market. Most recently, nearly 800,000 Americans have faced coverage disruptions as a result of the significant and unexpected shortfall with the risk corridors program. When health plans cannot rely on the government to meet its obligations, individuals and families are harmed as a result. The administration must act to ensure this program works as intended and consumers are protected."
Phil Klein in the *Washington Examiner *exposes HHS’s promise to bailout the Industry.
In an effort to reassure the industry, CMS, the HHS agency Tavenner previously led, issued guidelines reiterating HHS would use the money collected from insurers in 2015 and possibly 2016 to make up the $2.5 billion shortfall that exists from 2014. If that is not sufficient, they will ask Congress to reimburse the insurance companies.
This is crony-government-corruption at its worst. First, our government and the "Industry" colluded against We the People and forced us to buy expensive and expansive insurance. Then the colluders – government and Industry - incorrectly assumed young people would buy expensive insurance to finance the elderly and the sick. Now, government wants American taxpayers to bailout the insurance Industry.
Crony government corruption diminishes everyone’s freedom and must be stopped. This is the abuse Madison and the Constitution intended to prevent. Dreadfully, for many years the crony government corruption has defeated our Constitutional restraints. Now, We the People must support candidates and office holders seeking small, limited and honest government. We need to save our exceptional country.