Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘political deal’

… the DemoCraps Ought to Know Better [#political deal]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,July 31st,2014

.. they should know better .

.. the Dems should know better . They should know the way our system is supposed to work ..

.. [h/t — WhiskyTangoFoxtrot]..
.. [link] to the blog post ..

.. if His Lordship is thinking about getting the money that he wants , he is going to have to deal . he has no choice . He may think that he does not , but he has none ..

.. this is not Illinois , where the GOP is a bunch of bleating sheep . This is the national stage , where the gOP plays hardball . if you want your $$ that you want , then give us some of what we want …. otherwise , no deal …

.. that includes revising that 2008 human trafficking law . Immigrants found a loophole the size of the Grand Canyon . Obama and D.A.C.A. are not helping , either …

.. also , it should include funding for putting National Guard troops , in rotations from each state , on the border . The four border states [Texas , new Mexico , Arizona , and California] should not have their National Guard forces bear the burdens alone . the other states should take their turns …

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… Extending the Risk Corridors [ObamaCrapCare] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,February 24th,2014

.. this one is the insurer bailout provision ,folks .

.. it seems that His Lordship wants to extend it beyond 2016 …

.. with what controlling legal authority one might ask . The risk corridors program expires at the end of 2016 . So that is that …. or with this crowd , is it ? …

.. from HotAir [Allahpundit] …

White House weighing plan to extend ObamaCare’s “risk corridor,” i.e. bailout, program beyond 2016?

posted at 4:41 pm on February 18, 2014 by Allahpundit

The program’s supposed to be transitional, sunsetting in 2016 after the new exchanges have had a few years to launch and then stabilize.

Emphasis on “supposed to be.”

Industry insiders told the Washington Examiner a plan to extend the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” are under discussion, but that administration officials have not made a final decision…

The Obama Administration is now weighing a plan to grant an additional three-year extension for non-complaint plans on the individual market. Such a move would prevent millions of people from losing their policies in the critical weeks and months before the 2014 election.

But it would also allow people on the individual market to keep non-compliant plans beyond the risk corridor’s 2016 expiration date, leaving health insurance companies serving the exchange vulnerable to financial losses as the more healthy customers continue to stay out of the exchanges.

Health insurance companies are looking for something in exchange for the three-year extension, which will make it much harder for them to sign up healthier and younger customers. Extending the risk corridor program is part of that conversation with the White House, industry sources said.

Remember back in November when Obama was eating truckloads of crap for breaking his “if you like your plan” promise? His solution was to let insurers “un-cancel” canceled plans — but lost in the hubbub at the time was the fact that he said he’d allow it for just one year. The obvious problem with that timeline is that it means this issue will bubble up again this fall, just in time for the midterms. New solution, then: Quietly allow insurers to keep un-canceled plans in effect past the midterms, for another three years. That’s how Obama just “solved” his little electoral problem with the employer mandate, isn’t it? Three-year extensions across the board, to minimize the damage to Democrats from his pet boondoggle in November. The problem is, because the old un-canceled plans are typically cheaper than expensive new “comprehensive” ObamaCare exchange plans, the extension means insurers are suddenly looking at less revenue than they counted on all the way through 2017. That’s where the “risk corridors” come in. Assuming the Examiner’s report is true, the White House is going to make this worth the industry’s while by extending the timeline for the bailout program too. Any losses they suffer in 2017 would, presumably, be partly offset by Uncle Sam even though the “risk corridor” is supposed to have terminated by then. Your tax dollars will buy insurers’ complicity in yet another illegal extension.

Bob Laszewski kinda sorta saw this coming, by the way. Last month he published a post arguing that, for all its faults, ObamaCare won’t cause a death spiral in the insurance industry anytime soon. The reason: The “risk corridor” program. Since Uncle Sam’s on the hook for any heavy losses in the industry, insurers are under no immediate pressure to raise premiums, the potential trigger of a death spiral. They can keep premiums artificially low — at least for a few years, until the “risk corridor” sunsets. Laszewski figured insurers would give the White House one more chance next year to get their act together on implementation and to start signing up the uninsured en masse; if they failed, he said, he expected companies to start parachuting out of the exchanges in 2016 before the “risk corridor” program expires. Which is to say, it’s very much in the White House’s interest to keep the program in effect, if it can, to keep insurers from abandoning the exchanges, especially if HHS has reason to think the risk pools they’re projecting will be less young and healthy than they had hoped. (And they do have such a reason at the moment.) The last thing Democrats need in a presidential election year is “Insurers give up on ObamaCare” headlines. Promise them some more sugar and you can avoid that. Maybe.

It seems naive at this point to ask whether the White House could extend the “risk corridor” unilaterally or whether that would be illegal. If they want to do it, they’ll do it regardless. O’s theory in issuing periodic delays or extensions for ObamaCare’s provisions is that, during the law’s transitional phase, he has some latitude legally to tweak implementation to make it go more smoothly. Extending the “risk corridors” past 2016, though, would mean the “transitional” phase had lasted past the end of his own presidency. It’s dubious, but it’s also in character. Here’s a question, though: Why would insurers leak this info now, when Marco Rubio’s trying to build support within the GOP for a bill to repeal the “risk corridor” program? He’s had little luck getting it on the leadership’s radar but his luck could change now that rumors are swirling that the bailout provisions might be extended into 2017 and beyond. The recent CBO numbers that found that the “risk corridor” could actually make money for taxpayers is a problem for the GOP, but (a) CBO’s numbers can be challenged and (b) CBO assumed that the “risk corridor” would be gone by 2016. Even if O decides to unilaterally extend the program, a new Republican Senate next year could join forces with some red-state Dems and Boehner’s House majority to repeal it, forcing Obama to either acquiesce in the repeal or to veto it and be seen as singlehandedly defending indefinite bailouts for insurers. Very strange that insurance industry sources, who stand to benefit, would be blabbing about this now.

… from the Washington Examiner [Susan Ferrechio] …

Obamacare changes may include extension of risk corridors

 Susan Ferrechio                             | FEBRUARY 17, 2014 AT 5:18 AM

The Obama Administration may extend beyond 2016 a federal reimbursement program for health insurance companies that lose money by participating in the newly created health care exchanges.

Industry insiders told the Washington Examiner a plan to extend the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” are under discussion, but that administration officials have not made a final decision.

The risk corridor program was written into the 2,700-page health care bill to help the insurance companies offset losses if they enroll too few healthy customers and sign up too many people with high health care costs.

Risk corridors are aimed at keeping premiums from skyrocketing by requiring the government to “share in the risk associated with the new marketplace,” according to the health care lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

Insurance companies pay into a pool to cover losses for companies that fare poorly but the federal government must step in if there is widespread loss, which some say could happen due to the lack of participation on the health care exchanges from young and healthy individuals.

The program, however is only meant to be short term, AHIP said, to “ease the transition between the old and new marketplace.”

But the disastrous rollout of the law resulted in millions of people on the individual market losing health care policies that did not include the “essential benefits” required under the new health care law, including maternity care and pediatric dentistry. The resulting public outcry prompted President Obama on Nov. 14 to announce that health insurance companies could allow customers to keep their old plans for an extra year.

The Obama Administration is now weighing a plan to grant an additional three-year extension for non-complaint plans on the individual market. Such a move would prevent millions of people from losing their policies in the critical weeks and months before the 2014 election.

But it would also allow people on the individual market to keep non-compliant plans beyond the risk corridor’s 2016 expiration date, leaving health insurance companies serving the exchange vulnerable to financial losses as the more healthy customers continue to stay out of the exchanges.

Health insurance companies are looking for something in exchange for the three-year extension, which will make it much harder for them to sign up healthier and younger customers. Extending the risk corridor program is part of that conversation with the White House, industry sources said.

“If the extension increases adverse selection, premiums will go up and taxpayers will be on the hook for more money through extending the risk corridors,” Mike Tanner, a health care policy scholar at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said. “The question is, how much? And I don’t think anybody knows because I don’t think anybody knows how many people we are talking about.”

John C. Goodman, the president and CEO of The National Center for Policy Analysis, believes insurance companies participating on the exchanges are headed for significant losses as the sickest and most medically vulnerable get dumped into the exchanges and waivers and delays are granted to the healthy.

In Detroit, for example, city officials are considering pushing onto the health care exchanges municipal retirees who are too young to qualify for Medicare.

“I can understand why they are talking about extending the risk corridors because I think the losses are going to be quite large,” Goodman said.

Health care law supporters point out that the federal government can make money off risk corridor programs. A Congressional Budget Office report last week predicted the federal government won’t lose a dime through the risk corridor program but will end up netting $8 billion.

The CBO based its estimate on the performance of risk corridors established under the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit program passed by a Republican-led Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003.

“The risk corridor program was a good idea during the Bush administration, and it worked,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said during a recent hearing on the program. “Rather than a bailout for insurance companies, the program has resulted in $7 billion in net gains to taxpayers. But now since these same mechanisms are part of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans argue that they are a bailout for insurance companies.”

Critics in and out of Congress want legislation to repeal the risk corridors and warn that Obamacare won’t yield the same kind of results as Medicare Part D because of the much larger size and scope of the new health care law and the potential for a much larger pool of sick and unhealthy on the exchanges.

“Medicare Part D made money, but I don’t think that’s going to be true here,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office who now runs American Action Forum, which describes itself as a center-right policy institute.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. has introduced legislation to repeal the risk corridor provision in the health care law, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has no plans to take up the bill.

… LEC here again — no controlling legal authority …

Posted in accountability, congressional oversight, constitutional opinion, fraud, illegality, legal opinion, legal strategy, personal opinion, political strategy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… We knew that ObamaCrapCare was a Fraud …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,January 27th,2014

.. but just not this bad .

.. so far , from the enrollees , the great mass that are enrolling in ObamaCrapCare are coming from the private market . Only 12% of them are actually uninsured . Which is a significant problem .

.. The idea of ObamaCrapCare is to cover the uninsured . What it has been doing , however , has been to totally screw up the regular insurance markets . It has also called into question how many people are actually uninsured , and how those numbers are being measured . Where that hits is that if these folks are not enrolling , is why ? The law ‘ s official name is the Affordable Care Act . if the insurance is in fact unaffordable …

.. [h/t — HotAir]

.. [link] to the post [and the interview]

Aetna CEO: We might have to pull out of ObamaCare because it’s not attracting uninsured

One of the nation’s biggest health insurers is worried enough about a scenario in which it would have to pull out of Obamacare exchanges that its CEO is willing to talk about the possibility on national TV from Davos. It may be partly a signal to the administration to get this train moving, but it’s no doubt also a reckoning with reality. Obamacare is not attracting the uninsured, and if the administration would stop changing the rules long enough for insurers to get a handle on who is in the exchange population, they’d no doubt find that population is far more sick and expensive than it was supposed to be.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program.

The company will be submitting Obamacare rates for 2015 on May 15.

“Are they going to be double-digit [increases] or are we going to get beat up because they’re double-digit or are we just going to have to pull out of the program?” Bertolini asked in a “Squawk Box” interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Those questions can’t be answered until we see the population we have today. And we really don’t have a good view on that.”

He said that so far, Obamacare has just shifted people who were insured in the individual market to the public exchanges where they could get a better deal on a subsidy for coverage. “We see only 11 percent of the population is actually people that were firmly uninsured that are now insured. So [it] didn’t really eat into the uninsured population.”

For Obamacare to work better, it needs more flexibility and choice of insurance programs, Bertolini said. “We need to make it a lot more simpler for people. There needs to be more choice. When you get more choice, you make it more of a market and you get more people in the program.”

Bertolini’s comments illustrate the bind the insurance industry is in—and, yes, they jumped in with Obama on this deal expecting a bunch of people to be forced to buy their product. Obamacare has failed in such a way as to force them to raise rates dramatically. If they raise rates dramatically, the very administration that needs them to stick with the program will be calling them bad apple patent medicine salesmen because vilifying them will be the only hope for politically extricating itself from its policy failure, at least temporarily. And, in the meantime, the industry can’t even get a handle on who is in the exchanges because the administration keeps changing the rules every five minutes. A couple of industry folks told me last week, even if the news about the make-up of the exchanges is bad, it’d be better to figure it out, get some experience with the population, and gauge what can be done for cost containment. Obama’s short-sighted game of switcheroo doesn’t allow much actuarial science to take place.

Posted in financial opinion, Investigative, media strategy, personal opinion, stupidity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »