Wow, try to look surprised!
By Andrew Steele
After supposedly opposing the president’s health care bill, which would force Americans to buy private insurance, and giving Americans over the past year the impression that the battle was that of a populist president vs. big business, the insurance industry is suddenly embracing the new law and wants to get as many Americans enrolled as possible!
According to a TIME Magazine article: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry trade group, has agreed to sign on to a new, 50-state health care reform implementation effort, provisionally called Enroll America, which is being organized by Ron Pollack of the pro-reform group Families USA. “We are participating in it,” says AHIP spokesman Robert Zirkelbach. “The goal is to get everyone covered.””
The myth that insurance companies oppose legislation that would lay heavy fines on any citizen who doesn’t purchase their product was used by the mainstream media and the White House to make Americans believe that the victory of a few corporations somehow equated to victory for the people. While doing nothing to address the creation of new jobs so that the uninsured can sustainably afford the insurance they’re being forced to buy, the new law has assured the insurance industry an endless well of customers, backed by the US taxpayer if those customers are unable to pay.
Enroll America will focus on enticing the final 5% of Americans who will be eligible for health insurance under the new law but whom congressional budget scorers do not expect to enroll. On a state-by-state basis, the group will work to create an easy application process for benefits, including access to enrollment at doctors’ offices, pharmacies and government agencies that provide other benefits like food stamps.
Though the people behind Enroll America say they’re concerned that a small percentage of the population will defy the law, the IRS has been enlisted to help the government enforce the insurance mandate.
The Congressional Budget office estimates that 95% of Americans will get health insurance by 2016. That will add nearly 32 million previously uninsured people to the health-coverage rolls.
No doubt, for the insurance industry, the presidency of Barack Obama will be very good for business.