Good News

Here’s something I didn’t know:

A couple of hours after President Obama signed the health-care bill, an elated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with a group of columnists and commentators, issuing a warning to insurance companies and offering a surprising view of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Asked if insurance companies might raise their rates on health coverage and blame the increases on the new health-care bill, Pelosi said that the insurance companies should be aware that they’re not “automatically included” in the new health exchanges the bill creates.

“Unless they do the right thing, they’re not going in,” she said. “They will be relinquishing the possibility of having taxpayer-subsidized consumers in the exchange,” she said.

Under the new law, the health exchanges Pelosi referred to will be created in 2014. By pulling customers together, they will give individuals and companies a better chance of bargaining when they buy health insurance. Because the exchanges are expected to serve millions of new customers, insurance companies will want to be part of them.

8 thoughts on “Good News

  1. Hhmmm — Is that where the effect of how the rules are written comes in?

    The lobbyists will be quite busy working the rule makers in the coming year or so. And we might not see anything of what they’re doing until the rules are published. They do have an inside track with the Obama WH and administration.

  2. everything stated about the bill, except its weakness and delay, is a guess. Pelosi may not even be the speaker after 2010.

  3. Given that corporations have gotten just about as much – meaning everything they’ve wanted – under the Dems as they have under the GOP, I’ll believe this when I see it.

  4. lol yes because we have seen how tough they are on the hill, no enforcement, $100 fines, I am sure the Ins co’s are trembling at her threat.

  5. I love how Rs always say that capitalism can solve all of our problems, but then wail about how all the business-friendly provisions in the health insurance reform bill are so terrible.

    One of their grand ideas was to have private companies pool their resources to buy health insurance, rather than have these horrible “health insurance exchanges” run by the government. There is a small business group in my city that pools businesses together to buy insurance. Guess what — it’s cheaper! Unfortunately, it isn’t much cheaper, and like all other health insurance the premiums increase 20%+ every year. It’s killing us.

    I see the same thing happening with these exchanges. They may get our annual increases down to only 18% or so, insurance companies will continue to profit, and at some point the subsidies required for lower income folks will become a huge problem for us.

    Techniques similar to the coming exchanges have been tried and did not control costs. Capitalism by itself has not controlled costs. It is time to give single-payer insurance a try. I hope we can gradually expand medicare until everyone can buy in.

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