I maintain no great sympathy for insurance companies. But we’re quickly approaching the point where pre-ObamaCare is going to look like the good old days. They are also quickly approaching the point where they will be hung on their own petard.
Insurance companies saw it coming. What they saw however was a tree, a money tree and now they are about to be lost in the forest.
Insurance companies were, no doubt, aroused by the idea of the government forcing customers into their waiting arms as an act of law. All they had to do was comply with the political winds of ObamaCare and get what guarantees they could. They protected themselves with little discussed provisions in the law that, in essence, guaranteed a bailout if things went horribly wrong.
Insurance companies were likely treated to the whole show from the administration in the effort to get them to quietly obey. “Hey guys, we’ve got celebrities to promote the law, we’ve got billions of dollars to market and advertise the new law, We’ve got a billion dollar web site, we’ve got Presidential juice, Pajama Boy, dancing underwear guys, Beyonce, Magic Johnson and Richard Simmons; what could possibly go wrong?
The forest, however, was filled with hidden beasts, the biggest of which was the reality that what can be passed as law can also be removed by law. Your bailout could disappear in a tsunami of public rejection, political change and federal incompetence. The move is already afoot. You guys played ball in true Corporatists fashion.
Now you insurance guys have always been easy targets based on your own poor judgments over the years, invariably leading to public relations nightmares. I hope your planning for the next evolution because, if not, you’ll disappear. As difficult as you guys have been from time to time, ObamaCare is worse by an order of magnitude and you’d better get ready.
20 years ago there were 256 mandates to insurance companies in terms of mandatory coverage conditions, today it is over 2,000 and exploding under ObamaCare. These mandates ignore age, condition and health status.
Should insurance plans have a core of basic coverage? Yes! Are there things I would willingly pay for in addition to that core? Yes! I’ll pay for coverage of pre-existing conditions as part of a pool; I’ll pay for technology that minimizes fraud and abuse, I’ll pay for access to the doctors I’m with now. Beyond that I would like to pay for what I need. What a concept! I’m not going to get pregnant, nor do I need birth control or penis pumps. I don’t want to pay for that. If you do, fine with me just don’t ask me to pay for it.
Insurance companies need to get ready as the political hammer is about to hit the target they’ve helped paint on their own backs. The current state of rejection of ObamaCare should give them a clue that they’d better have an alternative ready.
The ObamaCare death spiral could be just months away. If the bailout is rejected and the pools of participants stays the way it is, the insured public is looking at massive increases in cost, which will, of course be blamed on insurance companies; not to mention the cancellations that are on our summer horizon.
Time for the insurance companies to fight back! Time to fight back with an alternative plan; a plan based on consumer choices and menu based options; unless of course they have yet to solve their Low-T problem.