NY Times Blames Republicans For Ocare Co-op Failures

If you haven’t noticed, Obamacare co-ops are losing lots of money, and are not just on shaky ground, but are failing left and right and shutting down. Guess who the NY Times blames for this?

A New Attack on Health Care Reform

In recent months, several nonprofit insurance plans that were created to compete with for-profit insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act have run into financial difficulties. Republicans and other critics of health care reform are cynically pointing to their problems as evidence that the whole reform effort is a waste of money that ought to be repealed.

They neglect to mention that the nonprofit plans, known as health insurance cooperatives, were created as a weak, underfunded alternative to a much stronger option that the Republicans blocked from passage.

Here’s where it gets truly amusing. Can you guess what that option was?

Back in 2009, while the reform law was being debated in Congress, most Democrats were pushing for a so-called public option, a government-run plan that consumers could choose as an alternative to private insurance. Such a plan would not have to generate profits and would have stronger bargaining powers to obtain discounts from health care providers, enabling it to charge lower premiums than private plans.

When it became clear that no public plan could survive a Republican filibuster, Senator Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, proposed setting up these cooperatives to compete with the profit-making plans. They, too, were presumed able to charge lower premiums because they would not have to earn profits. The co-op provision was included in the reform law enacted in March 2010.

See? It’s all Republicans fault for refusing to allow the implementation of a completely socialist, namely, government run/owned, healthcare option, one in which the Central Government would create their own insurance, which would compete against private plans. This would be Medicare for people under 65. It’s not single payer, but it would supposedly provide competition for the existing insurance companies. It would, of course, force doctors and medical facilities to accept payment far below market price, and below existing insurance company values, all backed by the money and power of the Central Government. And they’ve done such a wonderful job with other programs, like the Postal Service, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, etc.

[The coops] problems have been attributed to wrong estimates for how many people might enroll and to setting premiums too low to cover the cost of care, as well as severe reductions in the amount of money available to the co-ops from federal loans and for risk adjustment payments, both the result of Republican opposition to supporting the plans.

So, the people who wrote the bill messed up, not one Republican voted for Ocare, but it’s the Republicans fault?

Now [The Republicans] are after smaller game, the co-ops. The Obama administration should see if there are ways to buttress the remaining co-ops financially. Even if some of the co-ops close, their enrollees will be able to find other sound health coverage thanks to the reform law Republicans were unable to repeal.

Exactly how are Republicans going after co-ops? What, exactly, are they doing? The editorial fails to tell us the answers. I suppose it’s due to Republicans going against the public option 5 years ago. The Editorial Board is blaming Republicans for the failure of Democrat policies. Gotta love it.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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