[Posted by Karl]
While everyone has focused on the Senate Dems caving to Sen. Lieberman’s demand to drop the “public option” from ObamaCare, this tidbit has slipped by largely without notice:
The CBO on Sunday issued a strongly worded memo on the proposal establishing all health insurance companies’ “medical-loss” ratio at a maximum of 10 percent — meaning 90 percent of premiums would have to go to medical claims. Companies would have to issue rebates to their customers if they fail to meet this standard. Alternatives would set the level at 80 percent to 85 percent, as included in the House-passed healthcare bill.
Considering the medical-loss ratio in tandem with the other strict new insurance regulations contained in the bill, the CBO predicted that such a policy would “reduce the types, range of prices, and number of private-sector sellers of health insurance,” the memo says.
“In CBO’s view, this further expansion of the federal government’s role in the health insurance market would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all payments related to health insurance policies should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget,” the memo states. (Emphasis added.)
The Senate will not pass a public option. It will not pass a Medicare buy-in. It will not mandate a 90% medical loss ratio. Ugh. This deal keeps getting worse all the time.
If only Darth Lieberman would appear to say, “Pray I don’t alter it any further.”