WASHINGTON – Top Democrats knew in advance that Obamacare co-ops would fail, but did nothing to fix the problems in the bill before they passed it into law.
Cooperative (co-op) health insurers are closing at a rate of 46 percent as presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton defends Obamacare on the campaign trail. The Obama administration created the co-ops to act as nonprofit insurers to compete against private insurance companies. The scheme was intended to drive down costs. Now, the co-ops are failing and taking billions of dollars in government loans with them.
A video from the archives, flagged by researcher Rich Weinstein and presented here below, shows that Democrats knew in advance that the co-ops would fail.
The House Democratic Steering Committee hosted Yale professor Jacob Hacker during the last-minute push to pass the bill in December 2009. House Speaker and insurance industry donation recipient Nancy Pelosi was fighting against the creation of the co-ops (she ended up losing that battle to the White House). Pelosi shared the little-seen video on her Youtube channel at the time.
“At the end of your testimony, when you talk about co-ops, you’re skeptical co-ops will be able to succeed because they would face the same problems in breaking into markets that smaller private competitors face today,” said Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews of New Jersey, Pelosi’s close collaborator who led the Democrats in writing Obamcare. Andrews retired right around the time of his House Ethics scandal.
“It’s very difficult to build a substantial network of providers when there are several large insurers that dominate the market already,” Hacker testified, citing the Oppenheimer Foundation as getting to the same result. The co-ops would fail.
Hillary Clinton rolled out a health care plan Friday that proposes billions of dollars in un-paid-for tax credits to people who claim they’re spending more than five percent of their income on their health care. Clinton is pitching the plan as her way to control costs.
But, as Jonathan Gruber admitted, cost control was not supposed to be a part of the original Obamacare law, anyway.