As I wrote yesterday, UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest health networks in the country, has announced that it intends to leave Obamacare exchanges following lower-than-expected earnings reports.
It is just the latest in a string of bad news dominoes that have fallen of late, spelling possible long-term disaster for Barack Obama’s signature legislative “achievement” and the cornerstone of his legacy as president.
But no sooner had UnitedHealthcare announced its plan than the Obama administration announced its own plan to rescue the deeply flawed law. How? With a little help from his friends, not to mention his enemies.
Former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey writes in the New York Post:
Thursday, just hours after … UnitedHealthcare said … [it] will likely exit the health exchanges next year, the Obama administration quietly promised to bail out insurers for their losses — using your money.
[T]he administration tried to calm insurers, sending them a written memo full of promises. Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services vowed to go to Congress for full funding to reimburse insurers for their losses.
At issue is the Affordable Care Act’s so-called “risk corridor” program. Profitable insurers are supposed to pay into a fund every year to help unprofitable insurers. But with nearly all insurers losing money on ObamaCare, there’s not enough money in the pot. Insurers requested $2.9 billion to offset their 2014 losses, and were told they would get only 13 cents on the dollar, because the pot is so empty.
The risk-corridor program shouldn’t be used to funnel taxpayer money to insurers. But the administration is trying to weasel around it and get Congress to fill the pot with taxpayer dollars. That’s what makes it a bailout. And crony capitalism.
… In the coming weeks, count on Obama and congressional Democrats to try slipping insurance-bailout money into the spending bills being rushed through Congress as the year closes.