Progressives and Insurers, Living Together…

Published November 21, 2014

Usually, cats and dogs aren’t known for cuddling up together (there’s a reason Dr. Venkman cited “dogs and cats living together” as a sign of Biblical-level disaster and a world gone mad), and the same once could be said for progressive Democrats and health insurance companies.

Which brings me to this recent article in the New York Times by Robert Pear:

Health Care Law Recasts Insurers as Obama Allies

As Americans shop in the health insurance marketplace for a second year, President Obama is depending more than ever on the insurance companies that five years ago he accused of padding profits and canceling coverage for the sick.

Those same insurers have long viewed government as an unreliable business partner that imposed taxes, fees and countless regulations and had the power to cut payment rates and cap profit margins.

But since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation’s largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment.

The insurers in turn have provided crucial support to Mr. Obama in court battles over the health care law, including a case now before the Supreme Court challenging the federal subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of low- and moderate-income consumers. Last fall, a unit of one of the nation’s largest insurers, UnitedHealth Group, helped the administration repair the website after it crashed in the opening days of enrollment…

I’m not quite ready to say Obamacare has reached Biblical-level disaster proportions, but it is interesting to see that the former Public Enemy #1 on health care, according to progressives, is now considered an ally in preserving a law meant to rein them in.