Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE POLITICAL CLASS - NYT publishes the painfully OBVIOUS 5 years later as news:Health Care Law Recasts Insurers as Obama Allies

During the (apparently intentionally obscured) debate over Obamacare someone, probably someone with common sense, pointed out that this law would instantly, via the individual mandate, create 30-40 million BRAND NEW, INCREMENTALLY IMPACTING customers for Health Care Insurers.
What businessman would NOT feel love and support for the govt which brought such mandatory largesse to your quarterly and annual reports?
As Americans shop in the health insurance marketplace for a second year, President Obama is depending more than ever on the insurance companies that five years ago he accused of padding profits and canceling coverage for the sick.
Those same insurers have long viewed government as an unreliable business partner that imposed taxes, fees and countless regulations and had the power to cut payment rates and cap profit margins.
But since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation’s largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment.
The insurers in turn have provided crucial support to Mr. Obama in court battles over the health care law, including a case now before the Supreme Court challenging the federal subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of low- and moderate-income consumers. Last fall, a unit of one of the nation’s largest insurers, UnitedHealth Group, helped the administration repair the HealthCare.gov website after it crashed in the opening days of enrollment.
“Insurers and the government have developed a symbiotic relationship, nurtured by tens of billions of dollars that flow from the federal Treasury to insurers each year,” said Michael F. Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute.
Wait, did I just read the NYT quoting CATO?

So much so, in fact, that insurers may soon be on a collision course with the Republican majority in the new Congress. Insurers, often aligned with Republicans in the past, have built their business plans around the law and will strenuously resist Republican efforts to dismantle it. Since Mr. Obama signed the law, share prices for four of the major insurance companies — Aetna, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealth — have more than doubled, while the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has increased about 70 percent.

“These companies all look at government programs as growth markets,” said Michael J. Tuffin, a former executive vice president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the main lobby for the industry. “There will be nearly $2 trillion of subsidized coverage through insurance exchanges and Medicaid over the next 10 years. These are pragmatic companies. They will follow the customer.”

There is a word for the kind of govt where business and govt exist in this kind of relationship. It’s not a nice one. I am not going to mention it here, but huge corporations such as BASF, and Bayer once benefited from this kind of relationship. For a short while. This system has almost always led to cataclysmic disasters, because at it’s base it MUST be corrupt.
There is also a word for those who exist in the policy making space of govt, business, and academia, and slip easily back and forth among the three collecting consulting fees, teaching, sometimes working for business, and sometimes sliding into policy making positions of govt .
First, such people are busy creating position papers as a scientist might publish HARD FINDINGS OF FACT, then helping position business and prepare along those lines and also ‘cooperating’ with executive and legislative staff to help write the laws, based on their ideas, which the businesses are now positioned to take advantage of. We occasionally see such people testifying in Congress, and quoted in the media, as unbiased experts, of course.
These people do NOT NEED a party, though they may have one listed as R or D.
Kurt Vonnegut, in his novels brings us the idea of a Karass and a Grandfaloon. The Grandfaloon is the group we belong to in public, attest to, at least along the surface of our mind, and even work for. The Karass is the unseen team we really, even unconsciously strive for and with, accomplishing real objectives. Like the force which makes the waves beneath the ocean. Not a conspiracy, just how it is. It’s a neat and novel idea of his.
The R and D are, apparently GRANDFALOONS to these people, some of whom ACTUALLY BELIEVE they are conservative, or progressive.
Who are these people, and what real party do they belong to?

The karass of the POLITICAL CLASS

That’s your real story NYT, it’s about the political class.
Of course by telling this story FIVE YEARS TOO LATE for the real debate over Obamacare, we understand WHERE you strive.
Glenn Hubbard (go rent or download via Netflix or Amazon, the academy award winning documentary INSIDE JOB) and read about him here.
Also don’t miss out on Fred Mishkin of BOTH the Federal Reserve Board and Full Prof at Columbia
Both men were prominent in an ‘R’ admin milieu
What does that mean?
We can ask the present example of such people one Jonathan Gruber of MIT, or even the many people like Ezra Klein who loves to quotes people like Gruber as they practice in the realm of objective reality.
We have a MAJOR problem in the way our policies are created. If in no other way we DEMAND complete disclosure, we will improve this dramatically.
But, of course, that would have seemed to be the job of the media, and now must we LEGISLATE THAT because media is more anxious to accomplish THEIR political class objectives?


Always On Watch said...

The perfect storm for the Nanny State.

Anonymous said...

Buzzfeed: Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists

"Michael, who Kalanick described as “one of the top deal guys in the Valley” when he joined the company, is a charismatic and well-regarded figure who came to Uber from Klout. He also sits on a board that advises the Department of Defense."