Healthcare Lying Liars

Ryan: “There Are Issues With Obamacare” That We Created


Paul Ryan hinted this week that House Republican may tie Obamacare to the debt ceiling once again, but he’s not being honest about the reasons.

“There are issues with Obamacare,” Ryan said Thursday at a San Antonio event, as quoted by Politico. “A lot of folks don’t realize there could be some massive insurance company bailouts in the near future with Obamacare that a lot of taxpayers probably didn’t know about that we don’t want to see happen. That’s one of the issues that’s in the realm of possibility. There are a lot of things … that are being discussed but its just not in our interest to negotiate in the media.”

What Paul Ryan is referring to as a “bailout” is compensation provided to insurance companies under certain conditions, such as a disproportionate number of sick people signing up for coverage.

If an overwhelming majority of sick people sign up for coverage and the premiums of healthy people aren’t enough to cover the increased cost, insurers may be reimbursed.

Why do I say if this were to happen, it would be the Republicans’ fault?

Because from day one they have waged a campaign to discourage young and healthier people from signing up for coverage. Republican congressmen, conservative writers, and wingnut talkers on Hate Radio have either communicated their own intentions not to sign up, or have urged others to forgo signing up. Conservative campaign operatives, PACs, and think tanks have also waged a campaign to discourage healthy people from signing up, even going as far as to host tailgate parties at college football games where naive Bros are urged to say NO to Obamacare.

Additionally, what Paul Ryan is proposing — eliminating the “bailouts” — would increase premiums for average Americans. Paul Ryan isn’t here to tell you about that. While he correctly says that “a lot of taxpayers” are unfamiliar with this mechanism of the law, he doesn’t explain that eliminating it would cost “a lot of taxpayers” more money.

Taxpayers, by the way, do not cover the cost of “risk corridors,” or what Ryan refers to as a bailout. Risk corridors are financed among insurers. If one insurer covers a disproportionate number of sick customers, funds will be diverted to it by other insurers that cover a disproportionate number of healthy customers. It’s designed to keep premiums lower for average people under the first several years of Obamacare before ending in 2016. Paul Ryan wants to increase your premium.

Paul Ryan is a wolf in sheep’s clothing snake oil salesman. But you already knew that.

  • West_of_the_Cascades

    If I recall reading correctly, the risk corridors ARE potentially financed by taxpayers if the amount collected from the insurance companies doesn’t cover payouts — but that’s actually fine with me, because risk corridors are something worth funding to ensure that the premium costs that the same “taxpayers” pay stay low, and also that there is stability and predictability in the market (sadly it means “making insurance companies happy,” but if the ultimate benefit is to the people who are insured, so be it in our imperfect system). It’s the sort of insurance and support for the whole system that government can provide that that private market, by itself, cannot. Basically, it’s good government, and sometimes we taxpayers should pay for that.

    The bigger point here is that Republicans thought risk corridors were great ideas when they included them in Bush’s Medicare Part D drug benefits. They were good policy then (even if they overall Part D was not because it wasn’t paid for, unlike the ACA), and they’re good policy now. I think it’s just such an easy thing to knock down, and so incomprehensible for Republicans to explain to normal people why it’s a “bailout,” that it’s going to backfire on the GOP. Where were they four years ago, when the law actually passed, complaining about a “bailout”? Radio silence for four years, and then this screaming lunacy, looks like the desperation that it is.

    I seriously hope that the Democratic Party is quietly preparing an onslaught of pro-Obamacare ads and messaging for the summer and fall … I tend to think it is fine to let the GOP scream itself to an increasingly incoherent fury as it becomes more and more clear that the ACA is doing pretty much exactly what it is supposed to do, and having pretty much exactly the beneficial effects for millions of individuals it is supposed to have. And that Democrats begin to challenge aggressively the passivity of the sheeple in the Mainstream Media who just parrot GOP talking points.

  • muselet

    “Bailouts” is the new “Death Panels” for Righties.