1:08 PM, Sep 18, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
A new poll finds that 58 percent of likely voters are “more likely” to support members of Congress who vote to stop Obamacare’s taxpayer bailout of insurance companies. Half of that 58 percent (29 percent) are “much” more likely to do so. Meanwhile, only 15 percent of likely voters are “less likely” to support such members, with only 6 percent being “much” less likely to support them. In other words, almost four times as many voters would reward members of Congress for voting to stop the bailout as would punish them for doing so.
These are the findings of a new poll taken by McLaughlin & Associates and commissioned by the 2017 Project. The specific question was, “Would you be more or less likely to support a member of Congress who votes to stop the taxpayer bailout of insurance companies?”
In all, the poll finds that 73 percent of likely voters oppose the bailout. It asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of having taxpayers bail out private insurance companies who lose money selling health insurance under Obamacare?” Only 18 percent of likely voters said they approve of the bailout, while only 7 percent “strongly” approve of it — compared to 53 percent who “strongly” oppose it.
Jim Capretta writes that Obamacare’s insurer bailout “is one of the most important features of the entire law,” as it incentivizes insurers to lowball premiums to increase their market share, while counting on having taxpayers then cover most of their resulting losses. He writes that congressional Republicans should therefore make stopping the bailout “among their highest legislative priorities.” The House Oversight Committee recently surveyed insurers and found that 80 percent of them (12 of 15) expect to get bailed out this year, which will cost taxpayers about $1 billion and will benefit Obamacare.
In sum, the insurer bailout is unpopular by a margin of more than 4 to 1. By nearly that same 4-to-1 margin, voters are more likely to support a member of Congress who votes to keep it from happening. And ending the bailout would hurt Obamacare and help pave the way to repeal and then real reform.
All of this invites the question: Why aren’t House Republicans voting to stop this bailout before skipping town?
4:44 PM, Sep 8, 2014 • By JAMES C. CAPRETTA
Obamacare’s defenders are busy declaring victory again. Ezra Klein is touting a new survey of Obamacare benchmark premiums in some regions of the country as evidence that the law is defying the predictions of critics and working to cut costs rather than increase them.
7:41 AM, Aug 29, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The Palm Beach Post reports that Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty is characterizing as “unfair” Marco Rubio’s argument that American taxpayers should not be forced to provide a bailout for health insurance companies that lose money under Obamacare. It’s not entirely clear whether Geraghty thinks it’s “unfair” to oppose the bailout, to call it that, or both. Regardless, Obamacare is poised to force taxpayers to help cover health insurers’ losses — and it’s harder to imagine a clearer example of a bailout, or of cronyism, than that.
8:06 AM, Jul 29, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Publicly, President Obama loves to demonize insurance companies. But behind the scenes, Big Government and Big Insurance maintain a cozy alliance that the Obama administration actively nourishes, often at taxpayer expense. Indeed, as emails recently obtained by the House Oversight Committee show, Big Government and Big Insurance have worked together to promote Obamacare. They’ve also worked together to make sure taxpayers will help bail out insurance companies who lose money selling insurance under Obamacare — that is, unless Republicans stop this from happening. Moreover, Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett is among the prominent White House officials who’ve been in the middle of this collaboration between insurers and the administration — between those driven by the profit motive and those driven by the power motive.
9:15 AM, Jul 24, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
General Motors recalled another 718,000 of its vehicles yesterday to correct defects serious enough to require the action. This puts the number at "nearly 30 million vehicles since the start of the year, by far a record for any automaker and more than half the vehicles recalled by the industry as a whole."
Jul 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 43 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON and WILLIAM KRISTOL
This fall, voters will get another chance to register their opinion on Obamacare. President Obama’s signature legislation is causing health costs to spike, federal spending to soar, doctors to leave their profession, millions of Americans to lose their health plans, and millions more to be coerced into buying overpriced insurance against their will.
7:04 AM, Jun 27, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Most Americans don’t think it’s their job to bail out insurance companies who lose money under Obamacare, but that’s exactly what’s poised to happen. Obamacare’s risk-corridor program — which President Obama has been using as a slush fund to placate his insurance allies and keep them quiet about his lawlessness — shifts financial risk from insurers to taxpayers. According to the House Oversight Committee, health insurers expect Obamacare’s risk corridors to net them nearly $1 billion, at taxpayer expense, this year alone.
4:26 PM, May 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
It has been days now (at least two of them) since General Motors has issued a recall on any of its cars. But then, the law of diminishing returns applies here. After the first 15 million, there aren’t that many GM vehicles left out there for recalling.
1:21 PM, May 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The bailout of GM – at a final cost to the Treasury of $10 billion and change – was a landmark event in evolution state capitalism, American-style. The company was saved, certain creditors were stiffed, the unions were protected, and the corporate culture, it seems, was not altered in any fundamental way.
8:40 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The city that President Obama was credited with “saving” – before it turned out that he hadn’t – is getting a little help from Washington as it struggles through the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.
As reported by Reuters:
Michigan officials and President Barack Obama'sAdministration are discussing a plan to free up $100 million in federal money to aid Detroit's retired city workers, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday.
11:22 AM, Mar 31, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The script is familiar. General Motors’ top executive heading down to Washington to be grilled by Congress. As Joseph B. White of Market Watch reports, fifty years after the Corvair controversy that made Ralph Nader a household name:
Big government in bed with big insurance.Feb 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 20 • By JAY COST
Obamacare is like an onion: The more layers you peel back, the worse it smells. The latest revelation about this horrible law is the presence of a “risk corridor,” a euphemism for an insurance industry bailout that will occur sometime in the next year.
9:26 AM, Jan 18, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Vice President Joe Biden addressed the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Thursday and reminisced about the state of the industry before
8:01 AM, Jan 13, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Robert Laszewski—a prominent consultant to health insurance companies—recently wrote in a remarkably candid blog post that, while Obamacare is almost certain to cause insurance costs to skyrocket even higher than it already has, “insurers won’t be losing a lot of sleep over it.” How can this be? Because insurance companies won’t bear the cost of their own losses—at least not more than about a quarter of them. The other three-quarters will be borne by American taxpayers.