Health Insurers Have Second Thoughts About Riding The Tiger

Big Business and Big Government: What Could Go Wrong?

Posted by Dan McLaughlin
RedState.com
Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Wall Street Journal notes that even as Obamacare posed great threats to the independence and profitability of health insurers, they were willing to play along with an effort they thought inevitable as long as they could get the government to force more people to buy their product and dodge the poison pill of the public option:

A year ago, the industry’s main trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, decided to try to get out in front of the overhaul effort. Insurers agreed to renounce some of their most controversial practices — such as denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing health conditions — hoping to gain millions of new customers through mandated coverage.

It’s a time-tested strategy by Big Business in making deals with Big Government: hope you can cut a deal that puts the real hardships on consumers and small competitors, and avoid the worst for yourself. But of course, once you have traded your freedom for crumbs from the government table, you lose control over the process. And the Journal notes that insurers are starting to have some second thoughts about the deal:

Big insurers are still hoping to influence some language in the legislation before Congress sends it to the president. But one thing is clear: The initiative is poised to change their industry more than any other sector of the U.S. health-care system, with huge potential to disrupt profitability.

The article continues at RedState.com

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