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Emails show White House adviser intervened on ObamaCare ‘bailout’ after industry appeals


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documents-show-white-house-intervened-on-obamacare-bailoutFox News:

Newly released emails show a key White House adviser intervened on behalf of the health insurance industry after an executive repeatedly warned that massive premium hikes were coming unless the administration expanded an ObamaCare program that Republicans call an industry "bailout."


The insurance industry ultimately got a more "generous" offer from the administration -- one that Republicans warn could transfer potentially billions of taxpayer dollars into the Affordable Care Act to bail out insurance companies.


The documents were included as part of a report by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Republicans allege that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett intervened in response to appeals from the industry.


“Documents show that Ms. Jarrett took the warnings of the insurance companies very seriously,” the report said.


The controversy pertains to a program known as “risk corridors,” which allows the government to aid insurers that lose money by paying them from a pool of cash collected from insurers that turn a profit. The insurance industry, though, was concerned there wouldn’t be enough cash in the pool to go around.


A string of emails starting on April 4 of this year shows Chet Burrell, president of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, bringing this issue to Jarrett’s attention – and issuing blunt warnings that premiums could rise if the administration didn’t change course. The industry was apparently concerned about a decision to make the program budget-neutral, which would limit funding.


“If this is indeed the policy, then carriers will have to price premiums as if the Risk Corridor features is not fully available,” said a memo sent from Burrell to Jarrett on April 5. “Uncertainty or confusion will equate to higher rates. This could confront the Administration with a sea of far larger premiums increases than expected. Once the filings are made, they will likely quickly become public.”



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