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WH Forces Insurers To Cover Patients At A Loss

From Forbes:

Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss

By Avik Roy | December 14, 2013

Of all of the last-minute delays, website bungles, and Presidential whims that have marred the roll-out of Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges, what happened on Thursday, December 12 will stand as one of the most lawless acts yet committed by this administration. The White House—having canceled Americans’ old health plans, and having botched the system for enrolling people in new ones—knows that millions of Americans will enter the new year without health coverage. So instead of actually fixing the problem, the administration is retroactively attempting to force insurers to hand out free health care—at a loss—to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured. If Obamacare wasn’t a government takeover of the health insurance industry, then what is it now?

Basically, the “steps” involve muscling insurers to provide free or discounted care to those who have become uninsured because of the problems with healthcare.gov.

HHS assured reporters that it would be “urging issuers to give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium and still have coverage beginning January 1, 2014.” In other words, urging them to offer free care to those who haven’t paid…

“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.” …

There are other services HHS is asking insurers to offer for free. The administration is “strongly encouraging insurers to treat out-of-network providers”—i.e., costly ones—“as in-network to ensure continuity of care” and to “refill prescriptions covered under previous plans during January.” But the issue of unpaid premiums looms largest.

In other words, the White House is ‘asking’ insurance companies to cover people starting January 1st, even if they haven’t paid their premiums. And they are also ‘asking’ insurers to cover ‘out of network’ doctors, and refill prescriptions based on old (now outlawed) insurance plans.

And they are threatening insurers if they don’t go along with their ‘requests.’ Once again, welcome to the Third World.

The administration could pay insurers to cover up for its mistakes. But that would lead to criticism—as it has in other instances—that the White House is lawlessly throwing taxpayer money at insurers to, well, cover up for its mistakes. So, instead, they’re asking insurers to pay for the mistakes.

But, of course, the cost of paying for those mistakes won’t end up being paid by insurers, but by consumers, in the form of higher premiums.

Still, if this will keep the public from finding out about the flaws of Obama-Care before the 2014 midterms, it will all be worth it.

In theory, the Obama administration’s actions aren’t merely illegal—they’re unconstitutional. The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights says that no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” …

How quaint of Mr. Roy to bring up that quaint old document. It’s been years since anybody in the White House was limited by that old thing. Almost six years, now.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 16th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “WH Forces Insurers To Cover Patients At A Loss”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I had hoped that by now, the supposed adults in the room would take notice of this administrations power-grabs and overreaches.

    However, my newest theory is that most people believe that the government is in charge of the country, not the people.

    The 75% or so of us in flyover country are outraged but it’s becoming very obvious that there are no policemen in the government to hold this illegally operating administration to account.

    Thus, I must conclude, once again the parallel to ROME, when the triumvirate was formed and even prior to that when the first dictator was throned; Perhaps the model this administration seeks to emulate because it usurped the republic and kept the people silenced for a long time while the elite enjoyed the best homes, food and goods that money could buy.

    If you didn’t cooperate, you were sent to the games as entertainment.

    The Roman army enforced a great many rules that gained wealth for their superiors.

    We appear to be entering a phase where the people are strangely unawares.

    Perhaps it’s because they wouldn’t believe it could ever happen here.

    Perhaps it’s because no one knows what socialism is anymore since it’s not taught in schools, except as the ideal form of government by radical hippie teachers/professors who long for the 60’s of their youth and intend on “fixing” everything.

    But I just sit and sigh in frustration. Boehner has all the intestinal fortitude of an earthworm and Ryan and some of the other people I expected to speak out against all this tyranny have been effectively neutered.

    Looks like it’s going to be a lot worse before it gets any better.

    • Petronius says:

      Rusty: “We appear to be entering a phase where the people are strangely unawares.”

      When you change the trees in the forest, it is no longer the same forest.

      Democracy is the most idealistic of all forms of government because it requires the greatest possible extension of civic virtue to all citizens.

      But sadly the conditions required for civic virtue generally no longer exist in America. As a result, the inhabitants have grown incapable of self-government.

      Modern Americans seem to have the Liberal Death Wish, and not much else.

      A brief course in American history :

      1455-1580 the Protestant Reformation:
      invention of printing, reading the Bible, literacy, peasants become citizens, the ideal of freedom and beginnings of European democracy

      1580-1776 the colonial period:
      discovery, exploration, settlement, building, freedom, and the birth of science and industry

      1776-1850 the heroic age:
      independence, the Federal Union, the pioneer, building, expansion, manifest destiny, freedom, slavery, and the high water mark of civic virtue

      1850-1965 the American Nation:
      the triumph of sectionalism, Civil War, Reconstruction, an all-powerful central government, a redefinition of freedom, capitalism, a global powerhouse

      1965-2008 polyglot identitarianism:
      mass immigration, multiculturalism, diversity, identity politics, basic truths no longer self-evident, root ideals no longer shared, disunity, disintegration, loss of civic virtue, decline of literacy, endemic corruption and incompetence, the radicalization of Liberalism, government by elites, a post-Christian America

      2008-present triumph of the Liberal Death Wish:
      the Liberal revolt against civilization, the government attack on all rival institutions and hierarchies, collectivism and gangsterism, economic decline, persecution of the common man, oppression, tyranny, dismantling, destruction, and disgrace, a post-American world

  2. Enthalpy says:

    Rusty, you are right again, of course. Our frustrations are heightened by the realization that Cass Sunstein’s not so gentle nudges will rival those of Pol Pot in time.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    There has to be secret deals behind the scenes. I’m flabbergasted that the thousands of Board Members of insurance companies are going to sit by and take a fatal hit to stock value like this. But then, apparently they fell hook line and sinker for .. “we’ll get millions more customers!” BS. So, if they fell for that .. they deserve this.

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