Of Course The Health Insurers are Behind Obamacare. Its The Greatest Bit of Cronyism Ever.

Kevin Drum thinks it is an insight to his readers that the insurance companies are a source of support for President Obama in keeping Obamacare alive.  And perhaps it is a surprise.  After all, most of the anti-insurance company rhetoric was for the progressives, who are always fired up for any endeavor they think will punish a private corporation.

The rest of us understand that of course the health insurance industry is all for Obamacare. For them, this is the greatest bit of crony legislation in history. For all the Administration rhetoric, essentially the US government has required that every citizen buy their product, and subsidizes many of these purchases with taxpayer money. Corporatism is rampant nowadays, a bipartisan affliction, but ethanol is that only other industry I can think of that has been granted this ultimate crony grail of subsidies combined with a requirement to purchase  (though maybe ethanol wins because, at least for cellulosic ethanol, there is actually a mandate to purchase a product that does not even exist).

  • Ron Merrell

    Also consider auto insurance. Which isn't even subsidized, but is essentially immune to effective policing in many areas due to it's use of unique accounting techniques. One of the reasons I refuse to consider Geico is it's policy of providing the latest speed detection gear to traffic officers, completely free of charge - they know it's an investment with a terrific rate of return - for them.

  • mesocyclone

    To some extent, they were in a position of damned if you do, damned if you don't. The object lesson was plain for all to see: the insane medical device *excise* tax could have happened to health insurers. Hence it's not just cronyism, but also extortion by Obama and gang.

    I don't lose a lot of sleep over the travails of insurance companies, but for the most part, they are businesses like any other.

  • Quincy

    This. Exactly this.

    Warren says:

    For all the Administration rhetoric, essentially the US government has
    required that every citizen buy their product, and subsidizes many of
    these purchases with taxpayer money.

    Problem with that is, of course, that along with forcing every citizen to buy their product, the ACA also forcing the companies to have much larger exposures and much poorer risk pools. The required coverage levels in the ACA completely counteract any mitigation of exposure provided by the individual mandate. And so, there's the sticker shock we're now seeing in the individual market.

    When this same effect happens in the employer market, the insurance companies instantly become the bad guys for raising rates to have enough in their reserves to pay claims. The smart ones know this. But, supporting a law that will turn them into the devil tomorrow is better than facing abuse from the Democrats in Washington today.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Not any more they aren’t.

    The health insurance provider industry will cease to exist within 2 years.

  • rst1317

    Most disturbingly note the "our team won!" theme in Kevin Drum's blog.

  • tom walsh

    That is pessimistic or optomistic depending on your viewpoint. As quickly as ppaca isfailing, it will be sooner. tom