Lobbyists for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association are in freak out mode at potentially losing one of their many sources of tax dollars under the law. They are warning Congress that taking away their Risk Corridors payments “will result in massive premium increases and could cause private insurers to become insolvent… and will ultimately lead to a single-payer system.”
But Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC he was indifferent to participating in the Obamacare exchanges because they are a tiny part of Aetna’s business. About three percent of its revenue. And on the Griffin-Rubio bill he said: “Whether or not there's a government bailout because we lose some money on members is irrelevant to us from our standpoint of our earnings.” So much for that single-payer scenario.Ending Risk Corridors (or alternatively limiting their outlays to program revenues to make them function as originally understood) is not a silver bullet to take down Obamacare, as some on the right might dream. It’s not going to put any insurance companies out of business, notwithstanding the hyperbole from the Blues. But it will save taxpayers billions of dollars and it will force insurance companies to suffer just a little bit more of the consequences of their collaboration with the administration – and wonder if it’s time to break ranks and support real reforms. And a bailout-weary American public would surely be appreciative.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.