10/26/2013

Amazingly, despite only Democrats writing and voting for Obamacare, it is not their fault when things go wrong: blaming insurance companies for co-op problems

The health insurance co-ops look like they are turning into a financial disaster.  If you believe the Democrats spin, the problems are the fault of insurance companies and "Congress."  From the Washington Post:
. . . While the debut of the Affordable Care Act this month has been marred by widespread computer problems, the difficulties the co-ops face have been less obvious to consumers. One co-op, however, has closed, another is struggling, and at least nine more have been projected to have financial problems, according to internal government reviews and a federal audit. 
Their failure would leave taxpayers potentially on the hook for nearly $1 billion in defaulted loans and rob the marketplace of the kind of competition they were supposed to create. And if they become insolvent, policyholders in at least half the states where the co-ops operate could be stuck with medical bills. 
Although the co-op plan originated in the Senate, resistance to the initial proposal quickly materialized on Capitol Hill, in part because of pressure from insurance industry lobbyists. 
So Congress saddled its new creations with onerous restrictions that, experts say, doomed many co-ops to failure. . . .
But Democrats completely controlled congress, they are the ones who wrote up the bill (in particular, the Democrats in the Senate), and Democrats in both houses of congress provided all the votes.  For Democrats, non-profit co-ops were a compromise that they reached among themselves because of some opposition to a public option.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has rejected a Senate proposal floated in recent days to create privately-run healthcare cooperatives in place of government-run insurance plans.  . . . 
Democrats such as Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Maria Cantwell (Wash.) have been reluctant to sign onto a robust government-run insurance plan, which liberals favor. . . . 
Co-ops would not be controlled by the government but would compete with private, for-profit health plans.  
Although the proposal has gained momentum in the Senate in recent days, Pelosi dismissed the idea as a possible substitute for government-managed healthcare. . . .

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