|Official portrait of Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement Valerie Jarrett. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
That's according to a Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee report released today by it's chairman, Representative Darrell Issa.
The report includes email correspondence that shows the Jarrett intervention.
The report states that in making the case for ObamaCare prior to its passage in Congress, President Obama often vilified insurance companies and decried their large profits:
"...For example, in July 2009, President Obama remarked that “health insurance companies and their executives have reaped windfall profits from a broken system.” One month later, he remarked that “nobody is holding these insurance companies accountable.” The President’s public criticism of large health insurance companies was good politics for him and likely contributed to the law’s passage. The text of the law passed by Congress and the White House’s recent actions to protect insurance company profits, however, show the hypocritical nature of the President’s arguments in selling
Additionally, the report describes that while the President's rhetoric was largely critical of insurance companies, ObamaCare contained key provisions to increase insurance company profitability. It appears the President was villifying Insurance companies to present himself and democrats positively pro-Health Care Law, while in effect providing avenues for additional revenues for the insurance companies to get them on board with his agenda.
The collusion included key White House personnel, who:
"...directly intervened with key agency regulatory guidance to increase a bailout aimed at protecting insurance companies that participated in ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges. As evidence of the collusive relationship between the White House and large insurers, key White House employees, including Tara McGuiness, the White House’s Communications Director, and Chris Jennings, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy, and Coordinator for Health Reform from July 2013 through January 2014, traded talking points with health insurance companies about the concern that millions of Americans were losing their insurance coverage because of ObamaCare, and how to best message problems with HealthCare.gov."
The report alleges and provides the evidentiary emails which show that:
"...In addition to providing health insurance companies with a mandate for individuals to purchase their product as well as creating these subsidies, ObamaCare contains large backdoor bailouts of insurance companies offering ObamaCare-compliant coverage in the individual and small group health insurance market. Essentially, ObamaCare contains two types of bailouts for insurance companies offering ObamaCare-compliant coverage – one bailout transfers money from the vast majority of people with health insurance, and another bailout transfers money directly from taxpayers..."The ObamaCare Reinsurance program, which the report explains is funded by a fee on nearly all people with health insurance:
"...subsidizes expensive medical claims of individuals enrolled in ObamaCare-compliantAccording to information obtained by the Committee, several insurers expected Risk Corridor payments prior to the start of open enrollment, and appear to have underpriced their ObamaCare-compliant plans as a result. When word of massive bailouts got out, public outcry caused the Obamistas to backtrack, signalng in March 2014:
plans. The amount of the Reinsurance program bailout was set by statute and equals $10 billion in 2014, $6 billion in 2015, and $4 billion in 2016. ObamaCare’s Risk Corridor program provides payments when insurers lose money on ObamaCare-compliant plans sold in the individual market. As currently structured, ObamaCare’s Risk Corridor program puts taxpayers at risk for a potentially unlimited taxpayer-funded bailout to cover insurance company losses..."
"...that it would implement the Risk Corridor program in a budget neutral manner. Insurance companies were generally displeased with this announcement and started a powerful lobbying campaign. Part of the insurers’ lobbying campaign was a direct appeal to the President’s most senior advisors, including Valerie Jarrett. Insurance companies and their chief trade group warned that a budget neutral Risk Corridor program would lead to large premium increases for exchange plans in 2015. Essentially, insurance companies presented the Administration with a choice: face significantly higher premium increases in 2015 for exchange plans or make taxpayers bail out insurance companies..."
And there's more:
"...Documents show that Ms. Jarrett took the warnings of the insurance companies very seriously and indicated that the Administration had given insurers 80 percent of what they sought. Insurers were not satisfied with the Administration’s first change and lobbied for additional protection. In May 2014, the Administration delivered to insurers, modifying the risk corridor payment formula to increase the size of the bailout insurers could expect to receive..."
This however comes with a projected $1 billion price tag for taxpayers just in 2014. According to the report:
"...As of May 2014, twelve of the 15 traditional health insurers expect to receive payments from the Risk Corridor program, one of the insurers expects to make payments into the Risk Corridor program, and two insurers expect no net payments. These 15 insurers project they will receive approximately $640 million in net payments through the Risk Corridor program for the 2014 plan year... As of May 2014, of the 23 co-ops, seven expect to receive payments from the Risk Corridor program, two expect to make payments into the Risk Corridor program, and 14 expect no net payments. These 23 co-ops expect to receive approximately $86 million in net payments through the Risk Corridor program for the 2014 plan year."According to a Media Dispatch from the Oversight Committee key findings of the report include the following:
- An insurance company CEO appealed directly to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, after the Administration signaled its intent in March 2014 to implement the Risk Corridor program in a budget neutral manner. Chet Burrell, the President and CEO of Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield, wrote to Ms. Jarrett that insurers would likely require Risk Corridor payments on net and that budget neutrality would lead insurers “to increase rates substantially (i.e., as much as 20 percent or more…).
- Ms. Jarrett intervened and wrote to Mr. Burrell that “the policy team is aggressively pursuing options.” After the Administration explained how it would implement the Risk Corridor program in April 11, 2014 guidance, Ms. Jarrett wrote to Mr. Burrell that the Administration had given insurance companies 80 percent of what they sought. However, in a May 2014 final regulation, the Administration further increased the generosity of the taxpayer bailout for insurance companies.
- Key White House employees, including Tara McGuiness, the White House’s Communications Director, and Chris Jennings, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy, and Coordinator for Health Reform from July 2013 through January 2014, traded talking points for TV appearances, including on Meet the Press and CBS Evening News, with health insurance executives on how to best message problems with HealthCare.gov and also the fact that millions of people were losing their insurance coverage because of ObamaCare. For example, Mr. Jennings and Ms. McGuiness provided talking points to Florida Blue Cross and Blue Shield CEO Patrick Geraghty in preparation for an October 27, 2013, appearance on Meet the Press.
- The Administration has indicated that it plans to use taxpayer funds to compensate insurers through the Risk Corridor program if insurers systematically lose enough money on these plans. In total, the insurers and co-ops surveyed by the Committee expect net payments through the Risk Corridor program of about $725 million in 2014. The total taxpayer bailout expected by insurance companies could approach $1 billion this year.
- Twelve of the 15 traditional insurance companies surveyed by the Committee expect Risk Corridor payments, one company expects to pay into the program, and two companies expect no net payments.
- Insurers’ expectations for the amount of net payments through the Risk Adjustment program have nearly doubled since October 1, 2013.
- Enrollment information provided by insurers show that insurers enrolled a much older risk pool, on average, in their ObamaCare-compliant plans than they anticipated.
The committee's communique explained that:
"...'Risk Corridors' are provisions of ObamaCare designed to transfer money from profitable insurance companies participating in ObamaCare to insurance companies that suffer losses selling ObamaCare-compliant plans on the exchanges. However, the law provided for a taxpayer-funded bailout if insurance companies systematically lost money on their ObamaCare plans. In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produced a controversial estimate that ObamaCare’s Risk Corridors would provide a net $8 billion return to taxpayers...To provide clarity in response to CBO’s estimate, the Committee sent requests to insurance companies requesting their projections for payments through the Risk Corridor program. Among today’s House Oversight report findings is that almost all insurance companies expect to receive Risk Corridor payments to cover their expected losses on ObamaCare-compliant plans. The projections suggest that the size of the bailout will approach $1 billion this year alone. Between October 2013 and May 2014, the projected size of this bailout increased by more than 33 percent..."While not stated in the report, its analysis also shows the license the Obama administration has taken in violation of the Constitution by bypassing Congress and altering repeatedly a standing "law of the land" to fulfill a political agenda, excluding by way of unilateral Executive Branch amendments to that law to the exclusion of conference, debate and input from "We the People." In the end the ones held accountable for this fiasco are the tax payers, who will be forced to finance the bail-outs for insurance companies, and not the perpetrators of the deception to create government control over people's lives, while making tax payers pay for a massive wealth re-distribution, that will benefit Obama political cronies.
Here is the full Committee Report
Here is the documentation containing pertinent emails