The Rainmaker

Two advisers to the administration during the creation of the law known as  exposed in the New York Times on Wednesday one of the predictable consequences of that law: the end of health companies in America.

Authors Ezekiel Emanuel and Jeffrey Liebman then reviewed all the ways that the new “accountable care organizations” will allegedly improve the delivery of after those greedy, nasty, selfish, profit-seeking insurance companies are out of the way. The article is so filled with misstatements, half-truths, and just plain lies that only a few of the more egregious ones can be addressed here:

Health insurance companies usually…provide insurance; they take a premium and assume financial responsibility for paying the bills. But the amount of risk sharing that is accomplished is limited because the insurance companies charge premiums that vary, depending upon the health of an individual or a group…. [They] use their data and market power to identify healthy people to cover and unhealthy people to exclude from coverage.

Correction: Health insurance companies, in a free and open market, provide insurance by contracting with individuals or groups to provide a service: coverage according to that contract. Premiums are charged according to the best estimate those companies make about what it will cost for them to provide the coverage. They do not “take” premiums by force, but try to

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