Here’s the beginning of the New York Times story about today’s hour-long emergency meeting between insurance executives and the President:
A day after they were caught off guard by President Obama’s proposal to prevent cancellation of insurance policies for millions of Americans, top executives of some of the biggest insurance companies emerged from a meeting at the White House on Friday, expressing mixed feelings about whether the idea could work in every state.
The hastily called meeting was an attempt by the White House to address the growing frustration of the nation’s insurers over the administration’s fumbling of the health care law. It came just a day after the president announced on television that insurers could now continue coverage for people whose policies were being canceled because they did not meet the new law’s standards.
That’s right, folks – Barack Obama threw out his insurance cancellation “fix” without consulting insurance companies. He didn’t bother to ask them if it was feasible or nor. He called industry leaders to the White House a day later to discuss it with them. According to the Times, many of them “expressed anger that the President had not consulted them before Thursday’s announcement.” I’ll bet they did.
Adding to the hilarity, remember that part of Obama’s weird train wreck of a press conference involved him admitting, at long last, that he doesn’t know much of anything about the insurance business. “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy,” he chirped, as if this was some incredible secret the whole country is discovering together, rather than just one out-of-touch aristocrat trying to cover his politically exposed posterior.
Keeping the industry out of the loop is further evidence, if any were needed, that this was never a serious proposal by the President. He doesn’t care if it won’t work or can’t be done. He just needed to get out there, ahead of the votes on measures such as Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)’s Keep Your Health Plan Act, and convince his panicked Party that he can shift blame to the insurance companies. They needed some evidence that the old socialist mojo was still working, some reason to believe that they’ll be able to spend the summer of 2014 pointing fingers of blame at corporate leaders and railing that all these canceled policies are their fault. Why, His Majesty graciously offered to let them ignore inconvenient passages in the royal health care decree, and those miserable swine still canceled your policy! Hate them, peasant rabble!
Of course it never occurred to the President that he should run his proposed “fix” past the people he’s going to use as scapegoats. This was a political maneuver, not a policy proposal.
Update: According to NBC News, insurance industry leaders and state regulators are “baffled” that Obama is acting surprised by a wave of insurance cancellations they warned him about over three years ago.
Well, it’s a pity you fellows didn’t scream “He’s lying!” at the top of your lungs when Obama was running around telling everyone they could keep their plans. I suspect they’re coming out with this now because they caught a whiff of the tar and feathers being cooked up for them in the White House torture chambers, and they don’t like the smell.