April 15, 2014 4 Comments
Wonkblog says that the administration ‘has a plan’ to ‘avoid’ the Obamacare Risk Corridors becoming a ‘bailout’ (i.e. not really necessarily a bailout per se but costing taxpayers a lot of money nevertheless).
What is this ‘plan’? Let me boil it down for you:
1. Save any money it takes in, just in case it costs money later, and hope the saved money will be enough to cover any later liability (fingers crossed!)
2. Don’t pay early-year claimers all that’s owed to them under the corridor, promise it to them in yearly installments and hope that future years they’ll turn green anyway & we can net things out then.
This is a ‘plan’ to ‘avoid’ any possibility of a large taxpayer hit, you wonder? And the answer is a resounding no, according to the actual article:
So what happens if at the end of the three-year program, HHS hasn’t collected enough payments or it’s collected too much? Well, HHS doesn’t know yet what happens then
Um, what happens then is that (assuming that ‘hasn’t collected enough’ is the likely situation) taxpayers will either have to make good on the tranched insurance protection their wise Congressmen sold to insurance companies, or renege somehow. Or in colloquial terms, taxpayers will have to ‘bail out’ insurance companies to the tune of $X billion, for some unknown but possibly large and not even apparently bounded X.
And that’s the ‘plan’!
I’d hate to think what ‘no plan’ looks like.