What a health insurer wants 

The Left is getting all excited about indications that the health insurance industry is favoring Republicans. This time, the liberals are only being partly misleading.

Let’s start with Ezra Klein who blogs:

You know, I keep hearing what a gift the health-care law is to the insurance industry, and then I read that they’re donating tens of millions of dollars to groups trying to elect candidates pledging to repeal the legislation, and then millions and millions more to individual Republican legislators who’ve pledged to repeal the law. It’s all very confusing. [Emphasis added].

But read that second link Klein provided. The first policy matter discussed:

The healthcare law will penalize Americans $95 in 2014 if they fail to get insurance. The penalty rises to $695 in 2016.

“The one thing that insurance companies would love to see are penalties that are actually stronger,” said Jeff Fusile, a partner at consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

So, that’s not “repealing” Obamacare — it’s actually multiplying one aspect of it. Rather than Klein’s simplistic explanation (insurers want repeal), there’s something more subtle going on. It’s the typical industry one-two punch: get Democrats to put in place subsidies, mandates, and protective regulations, and get Republicans to take out taxes and hurtful regulations.

But what does this mean for conservatives? It means this: don’t trust any Republican who says he’s going to “repeal” Obamacare. If they were serious about this, the health insurers would still be backing Democrats.

The Politico writes about the health industry is now favoring Republicans, for a change. The funny thing about that: Politico and its ilk never covered — during the health-care debate — how the industry’s money was strongly favoring Dems. Like the Washington Post with Wall Street money, they run the “industry is moving right” piece without having ever published the “industry is far left” piece.

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Timothy P. Carney

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