As I wrote in an earlier post, I said that several states were in various stages of the legislative process of crafting bills to make it illegal for the federal government to require individuals to purchase health insurance.
The time has now arrived when the battle of state’s rights versus federal sovereignty will again take center stage again in this country as thirteen attorneys general have filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate. With a little bit of pride, I take time to notice that my state’s own AG, Ken Cuccinelli, is one of the thirteen.
I take finger to keyboard here not to discuss the merits of the challenge but to wonder why the Republican party, the political party of most of the challenging AGs, hates big business, in this case, health insurance companies (HICs).
Oh, please, let me explain.
During the 1993 HillaryCare debacle, one reason that the Clinton health-care initiative failed was that HICs were not on board helping to make the laws. This resulted in the “Harry and Louise” series of advertisements that helped to push public opinion away from Bill and Hillary’s effort.
Fast forward to President Obama’s push for health care and the “Harry and Louise” ads that appeared were actually in favor of health care reform. Why? Because Obama gave HICs a seat at the table and while some aspects of the new law were not to HICs liking, there were some parts that HICs found absolutely enticing.
My guess is that one of the reasons HICs went along with all the restrictions them (i.e., cannot drop an individual with a pre-existing condition, children can stay on parent’s policy until age 26, etc.) is because they saw that in the individual mandate they would receive around 34,000,000 new (and paying) customers. All that new potential revenue is a heck of a lot sugar to make the new medicine of increased regulation go down.
But now the (mostly) GOP AGs are coming to topple that apple cart. If the suit challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate is won by the AGs and people are not required to buy health insurance, then HICs will have none of the benefits (new members) of the new health care law but still have all of the burden (restrictions and regulations).
What a lovely little present from the GOP to big business.
If I was a member of a HIC political action committee, I would seriously be reconsidered where my contributions go this year.