No One Could Have Predicted the Insurance Companies Would Be Uncooperative

It seems to me like a lot of smart people pajama-clad internet fringers have been saying quite loudly for quite some time that trying to reform healthcare while simultaneously protecting the insurance industry is a Bad Idea. For several reasons.

Like: Our healthcare system is broken because we treat healthcare as a for-profit enterprise, and so the most urgent reform is getting the enormous profits out of it, which means sending the insurance companies the way of the dodo.

And like: Requiring people who have access to healthcare via employer plans to stay in those plans, and making the public option a safety net rather than an actual option, means that insurance companies will merely deny treatments at a greater frequency to stay competitive, so people with insurance will end up with the shittiest care.

And like: Fuck the insurance companies. They've made enough money hurting and killing and ruining the lives of Americans already.

And like: You do know the insurance companies are going to be totally uncooperative when it comes to the final stretch, right? And turn this clusterfuck into a clusterfucktastrophe?
After months of collaboration on President Obama's attempt to overhaul the nation's health-care system, the insurance industry plans to strike out against the effort on Monday with a report warning that the typical family premium in 2019 could cost $4,000 more than projected.

The critique, coming one day before a critical Senate committee vote on the legislation, sparked a sharp response from the Obama administration. It also signaled an end to the fragile detente between two central players in this year's health-care reform drama.

Industry officials said they intend to circulate the report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Capitol Hill and promote it in new advertisements. That could complicate Democratic hopes for action on the legislation this week.

Administration officials, who spent much of the spring and summer wooing the insurers, questioned the timing and authorship of the report, which was paid for by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an industry trade group.
Huh. Well, maybe those administration officials should get their heads out of their asses and spend "much of" the autumn and winter and however many seasons are necessary listening to the American people and giving them what they need, since this administration was elected to serve them and all.

Steve dispatches with the veracity of the report, but that's not really the point: Of course the insurance industry is a bunch of mendacious wankers. That's exactly why they should have been left out of the reform effort all along.

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