Here’s something protesters could get worked up about: President Obama caves to industry and savages his own health reform law, beating Republicans to the punch.
Citing cost concerns, the White House announced on Friday it has scrapped the long-term insurance program that was a key part of the President’s massive legislation passed last year.
The reason for abandoning this effort to persuade Americans to invest in their long-term care? It was voluntary, and officials surmised that not enough people would pay premiums if they don’t have to. And it would have threatened the private plan market. In other words, if the insurance industry loses money forget about it.
Which points to how the Obama health law could unravel if the individual mandate to purchase insurance for current care goes away. As the demise of the voluntary long-term care plan demonstrates, unless everyone is forced to buy insurance, the industry won’t play ball. There just aren’t enough premiums collected to cover benefits in a system that must also generate huge profits for companies.
The bottom line is that Obama’s insistence on keeping the private insurance industry the boss of our health care system could well doom his reform effort.
Why didn’t the President choose Medicare for all when he had the chance? Because he was obsessed with winning bipartisan support, which didn’t happen. Now Republicans can’t wait to dismantle his health law bit by bit – and, incredibly, he just showed them where to start.