Earlier, I wrote about Senator Tim Scott’s (R, SC) concerns about the broader picture of the Obamacare failure. It seems Scott was optimistic in some respects. Jerry Markon, in The Washington Post, has written about the already ongoing failure Obamacare’s insurance co-ops, which are different from the exchanges that some states have set up and which the Federal government, under the auspices of Obamacare, has set up in 36 states and set loose on an unsuspecting public (that HealthCare.gov thingie).
These co-ops are
a network of nonprofit insurance companies aimed at bringing competition to the marketplace, long dominated by major insurers.
But these co-ops, started as a great hope for lowering insurance costs, are already in danger.
The danger is clear and present:
One co-op, however, has closed, another is struggling, and at least nine more have been projected to have financial problems, according to internal government reviews and a federal audit.
Their failure would leave taxpayers potentially on the hook for nearly $1 billion in defaulted loans and rob the marketplace of the kind of competition they were supposed to create. And if they become insolvent, policyholders in at least half the states where the co-ops operate could be stuck with medical bills.
That’s out of roughly 24 in 24 states.
Worse, these operations were designed to fail: the then-Democrat dominated Congress loaded these entities with restrictions that, individually, elevated the risks for their survival, and in the aggregate, made their survival nearly impossible.
- Federal grants for the co-ops were converted to loans with tight repayment schedules
- co-ops were barred from using federal money for marketing
- co-ops were severely limited from selling insurance to large employers…the most lucrative market
And so on. This is one of the outcomes of central control of an economy—or even one-sixth of one.