This kind of stuff is bad

From today’s WSJ:

Health-industry groups are pressing to roll back key provisions in the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul if Republicans recapture the House, but they’re also worried that the party could go too far.

If they win the House, Republicans have promised that one of their first votes will be to repeal the health-care law passed in March. That would ultimately be stopped by the White House, or first by the Senate if Democrats retain control of it.

But Republicans will have the power to block appropriations funding for the least popular parts of the overhaul. And health-industry groups, which aligned themselves with Democrats to pass the overhaul, are now reaching out to Republicans to help shape the GOP’s health-care agenda.

Insurers want to reverse tax increases and loosen restrictions on insurance premiums, and several groups hope to tack on medical malpractice protections.

At the same time, the health-care industry is concerned that Republicans want to remove the requirement that most Americans carry health insurance—a provision that rewards health-care providers with millions of new customers.

Think about that.  Insurance companies first want to reverse things like the excise tax.  That’s one of the few cost controls in the bill.  Then, they want to loosen restrictions on premiums.  That will lead to increased ability to raise premiums and loosen restrictions on how much money they can spend on non-health care related things.

What don’t they want?  They don’t want the mandate repealed.

Let’s say the Republican Congress follows their lead.  We’ll see a PPACA where people are still forced to buy insurance, but it’s more costly, less of it goes to care, and there’s nothing in place to bend the curve.  Plus, with more insurance-friendly governors, expect state-based exchanges to be insurer friendly and – perhaps – lessen Medicaid coverage.  It’s the nightmare scenario.

Scoff if you will; but this seems more likely than repeal.  And, as I’ve said before, insurance companies are very, very good at what they do.

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