What do health insurance executives think of ObamaCare? This will upset principled activists at both ends of the political spectrum (and about 60% of the adult population):
As Republicans push forward on repealing health reform, planning the law’s demise, a different conversation is happening among thousands of health care investors gathered in San Francisco for this week’s J.P Morgan Health Care Conference: how to capitalize on health reform’s new business opportunities.The Congressional Budget Office estimates 32 million Americans will gain health insurance by 2019 if the law stands. For health insurers, that represents a potential boon for both their individual market business as well as in the Medicaid market, where states regularly contract with private insurers to manage care.
If you think the GOP, as it is currently configured, is serious about repeal, think again. Pay very close attention to what is said of the individual mandate:
Health insurers spent barely anytime discussing Republicans’ repeal efforts. Aetna’s Zubretsky touched on the subject briefly only to say that Republicans understand that a rifle shot approach to tearing out specific health reform provisions, particularly the individual mandate, would not bode well for their business.“The unintended consequence of repealing and replacing part of the legislation is the biggest risk here,” he said. “If guaranteed issue stays but the enforceable mandate disappears, you need another mechanism to make the costs in the risk pool work.”Zubretsky said Aetna has been in touch with the GOP on the issue and “believe the Republican leaders we’ve been talking to understand the consequences of decoupling the mandate from the guaranteed issue.”
Without an extreme makeover, the GOP won't get serious about repealing ObamaCare in 2012, whether they control the White House or not.
As I've noted in previous posts, conservatives need to push for an up-or-down vote on a clean and simple repeal of the individual mandate. That will help clarify the intentions of folks on both sides of the aisle.
By a 60% to 38% margin, Americans oppose the individual mandate. Will the new GOP-controlled House take action in accordance with the wishes of the American people? Will conservatives push the GOP hard enough? Are we ready to "primary" more Republicans in 2012?
You have often heard those who favor reform complain about the power of the health insurance industry. I think those who favor repeal are about to feel it.