Obamacare

Senior Obamacare Official Becomes Top Health Insurance Lobbyist

The move is a reminder that Obamacare is a joint operation between the government and the health insurance industry.

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In January, Marilyn Tavenner stepped down from her position as the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).Tavenner was one of the administration officials most involved with the flopped launch of Obamacare's federal health insurance exchange—the administration sent her to Congress to apologize—and her agency crafted thousands of pages of regulations ordered up under the law.

Essentially, Tavenner played the role of Obamacare's caretaker within the administration, helping to craft its many tedious rules and procedures while serving as a public face when implementation failed.

Earlier this week, news broke that Tavenner would be joining America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the health insurance lobbying group, as chief executive. Tavenner, in other words, will continue to be Obamacare's caretaker—only now she'll be operating from the private sector.

At this point, though, "private sector" is practically a misnomer.

Obamacare does not nationalize health insurance, but it turns the industry—already subject to extensive, (though mostly state-based) mandates and regulations—into a kind of quasi-public utility: a heavily subsidized, federally regulated product, with profit margins capped and rates subject to regulatory review, sold through government designed and run marketplaces to people who are required by law to buy the product.

Tavenner's move not only highlights the link between government and industry, but strengthens it. As Philip Klein writes at The Washington Examiner, Tavenner "has a web of connections within the Obama administration and an intimate knowledge of how it works. But her being at AHIP is also valuable for the administration, because it means that the insurance industry's main lobbying group will now be headed by a cheerleader for Obamacare."

Under Obamacare, health insurance is nearly as much a product of government as it is of the private sector—a joint operation conducted in tandem by a revolving cast of public officials and private sector interests.

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  1. Our government and their selected cronies are just one giant continuous circle jerk of cronyism and corruption.

  2. See?!? Obamacare really WAS a free-market action!

    /shriek

    1. How else would one describe “a heavily subsidized, federally regulated product, with profit margins capped and rates subject to regulatory review, sold through government designed and run marketplaces to people who are required by law to buy the product.”?

      /derp

      1. They’re rubbing the scam in all of our faces, yet we’re just quietly tolerating it.

  3. *points at own face*

    This is my shocked face 😐

    1. Now I swear, the next one of you primates even touches me…

      1. Lighten up, Francis…

    2. O.O

  4. This is the definition of fascism. Privately owned entities whose products and services are dictated by the government. I called Obama on this back when he was doing the same- installing party apparatchiks- for GM. Of course my facebook friends merely accused me of hyperbole. Nevertheless, if it quacks like a fascist and walks like a fascist, it is a witch. or something.

    1. Who are you, who is so wise in the ways of Science?

    2. It’s a fluffy duckie, and it’s your friend.

    3. This is the definition of fascism. Privately owned entities whose products and services are dictated by the government.

      Sort of. In a fascist system, private entities are controlled (and regulated!) by a combination of owners\managers, labor, and consumers. Since many products are products are consumed by the entire nation, part of the consumer representatives are representatives from government.

      (Sort of like Obama’s restructuring of Chrysler and GM…)

      State legislatures and Congressional legislatures would be replaced with a similar system based on industry instead of geography — so instead of California (for example) state government, we’d have a Technology Corporation (for example) elected by people in the various technology industries across the US. Instead of Congressmembers elected from each state, we’d have representatives of the various corporations elected to Congress.

      See The Coming Corporate State for more.

  5. Is Tavenner a rejected alien extra from They Live?

    I’d like to be shocked at this outcome, Shocked!, but this is dog bites man news in DC. “Ex- Gubmint Official Joins Firms of Former Subjects of His/Her Capricious Abuse of Power. Promises to Fight Against New Federal Rules.”

  6. Obamacare does not nationalize health insurance, but it turns the industry?already subject to extensive, (though mostly state-based) mandates and regulations?into a kind of quasi-public utility: a heavily subsidized, federally regulated product, with profit margins capped and rates subject to regulatory review, sold through government designed and run marketplaces to people who are required by law to buy the product.

    How long do you think that’ll last?

    Industries like to trade heavily regulation for higher profit margins.

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