While Barack Obama was trying and failing to sell Obamacare to the American people, he and his allies on the Left incessantly demonized the insurance companies. On the other hand, during the debates, Mitt Romney noted that, “I’d just as soon not have the government telling me what kind of health care I get. I’d rather be able to have an insurance company. If I don’t like them, I can get rid of them and find a different insurance company. But people will make their own choice.”
Well now that Mitt Romney may very well be elected, guess who’s upset?
You’d think health insurance CEOs would be chilling the bubbly with Republican Mitt Romney’s improved election prospects, but instead they’re in a quandary.
Although the industry hates parts of President Barack Obama’s health care law, major outfits such as UnitedHealth Group and BlueCross Blue Shield also stand to rake in billions of dollars from new customers who’ll get health insurance under the law. The companies already have invested tens of millions to carry it out.
Were Romney elected, insurers would be in for months of uncertainty as his administration gets used to Washington and tries to make good on his promise repeal Obama’s law. Simultaneously, federal and state bureaucrats and the health care industry would face a rush of legal deadlines for putting into place the major pieces of what Republicans deride as “Obamacare.”
…Things could get grim for the industry if Republicans succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies and mandates, but leave standing its requirement that insurers cover people with health problems. If that’s the outcome, the industry fears people literally could get health insurance on the way to the emergency room, and that would drive up premiums.
…Obama’s law is starting to look more and more like a tangible business opportunity. In a little over a year, some 30 million uninsured people will start getting coverage through a mix of subsidized private insurance for middle-class households and expanded Medicaid for low-income people. Many of the new Medicaid recipients would get signed up in commercial managed care companies.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study estimated the new markets would be worth $50 billion to $60 billion in premiums in 2014, and as much as $230 billion annually within seven years.
Under the law, insurance companies would have to accept all applicants, including the sick. But the companies also would have a steady stream of younger, healthier customers required to buy their products, with the aid of new government subsidies. That finally could bring stability to the individual and small-business insurance markets.
In other words, the American people get screwed by Obamacare as businesses drop their coverage left and right while costs explode, but it would be a nice, wet, sloppy kiss for the big corporate insurance agencies that have the money and manpower to survive while the little guys go belly-up. It’s also worth noting who would be PAYING for that $230 billion extra that will be going into the pockets of companies like UnitedHealth Group and BlueCross Blue Shield.
Here’s a hint: 12 of the 21 new taxes in Obamacare hit the middle class.