If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, and then fight like hell to save them.
That’s essentially the health insurance industry’s strategy when it comes to ObamaCare.
Unable to derail the Democrats’ health reform train in 2009 and 2010, most of the biggest players in the health insurance industry agreed to make peace with the Obama administration.
For their troubles the insurance companies won policy concessions like the individual mandate to ensure a captive market for their products, and a complicated bailout scheme to subsidize losses.
Then along came King v. Burwell, one of the cases challenging the legality of federal subsidies necessary to make ObamaCare plans affordable. (Necessary, but not, according to ObamaCare’s text, permitted in states that rely on the federal government’s insurance portal.)
The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments this spring, and many entities have submitted amicus or friend-of-the-court briefs to persuade the justices their way.
“Among those filing amicus briefs defending health reform are HCA, the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the National Alliance of State Health Co-ops, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the American Cancer Society, and the National Association of Community Health Centers,” reports Bloomberg Business. “The insurance and medical industries share the administration’s goal of seeing millions more people covered because that translates into millions more customers seeking the services of carriers, hospitals, and doctors.”
If given a choice, many established businesses would prefer a guaranteed arrangement with the government rather than rely exclusively on the volatility of the market. It’s easy to see why. But discomfort to the health insurance industry should not trump the rule of law. If the IRS can rewrite ObamaCare to make money available where it has been prohibited, then perhaps another agency hence can also decide to cancel spending that is legally required.
No businessman wants to be on the wrong side of a one-way contract. Yet that’s precisely what will happen if the federal bureaucracy gets to change the terms of ObamaCare whenever it sees fit.