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If You Like Your Insurance, You Can Keep It? Not If It's UnitedHealth in California

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: The news today is that UnitedHealthcare is the latest insurer to drop individual coverage in California because it's just too expensive and it's too much trouble under Obamacare.  Now, folks, this outfit, UnitedHealth, is probably the biggest propagandists of all the insurance companies for Obamacare.  This is classic. 

You remember when this thing was in its infancy.  We had a number of hospitals, or hospital groups and associations, and a number of insurance companies, which really perplexed me, all signed up to get on board this thing, and I wasn't thinking about the crony capitalist connections here.  But these industries were offered insider status and some sort of benefit or whatever if they would help Obama get it passed.  Insurance companies were asked, I think, to fund TV ads, and they did, to an extent.  Hospital groups were asked to get involved in the same way by giving money to the Obama campaign to sell this thing. 

I don't understand this.  These people, do they not understand -- it's like the Republican Party -- do they not understand what Obama has planned for their demise?  I guess the seductive allure of being close to power and being officially tied to the administration as it's reforming health care might have made these people all think that they had an insurance policy themselves. That if they were gonna be intimately involved in it, that Obamacare would look out for 'em, take care of them, I don't know.  But what I do know is that this was crony capitalism, and it was made to happen, it did happen because these people didn't have the slightest understanding or desire to look at Obama ideologically and find out that he doesn't believe in the free market.

Why would anybody in the free market help this guy when his objective is to wipe them out?  But they all did.  And so the news today is that UnitedHealthcare, California, the latest insurer to drop individual coverage because it's just too expensive. They're not gonna be able to sell anybody any policies.  It's too much trouble.  Now, some people speculated that it was because they were gonna get special sweetheart deals under Obamacare, and maybe they thought they were, and maybe the insurance companies thought they were.  Maybe they thought they were gonna be protected, whereas others in the private sector where health care is concerned would be destroyed, they
thought maybe they will be protected.  But here from the article about this... 

"The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group Inc., is leaving California's individual health insurance market, the second major company to exit in advance of major changes under the Affordable Care Act." It's the mandates that they have to follow.  They're getting out because they can't do the mandates.  They're mandated to do X, Y, and Z, and sell policies at X price.  They can't and stay in business. 

"What happens to their current clients?"  What do you think happens? If they're getting out of the business, what do you think happens to their current clients?  It would seem to me that they're off to talk to the SEIU and Covered California over at the exchanges.  I mean, if you have a private health insurance policy with UnitedHealth, and they announce that they're getting out of that market at the point your policy expires...

I think your policy lasts for as long as you do.

When it expires, that's it.  You've gotta go somewhere, and there's a law now that says you have to have health insurance.  So if you're getting it... Remember, this UnitedHealthcare is a private insurer, an individual health insurance.  This is not through the employer, I don't believe, UnitedHealth. Regarding current clients, UnitedHealth said that "it had notified state regulators that it would leave the state's individual market at year-end and force about 8,000 customers to find new coverage."

So if you have a policy, a health insurance policy with UnitedHealth in California, at the end of the year it ends, and you will be forced -- according to the story -- to find new coverage.  "In March, UnitedHealth proposed a 9% rate increase for about 2,000 California policyholders with student health insurance policies that was scheduled to take effect August 1. That filing with the state insurance department was later withdrawn," and the whole thing's gone now. 

Now, you may remember what the president -- "Barack Obama!  Mmm!  Mmm!  Mmm!" -- said all during the run-up to the bill being signed by him into law. You might remember him saying, "If you like your current policy, nothing's gonna change for you, dude.  You get to keep it!  If you like your doctor, if your like your plan, nothing's gonna change. Nobody's gonna force you to do anything. You get to keep it."  Well, if you're with this bunch in California, at the end of the year for 8,000 of you, it's sayonara and, "Hello, exchanges."

That means you're talking to the SEIU, the AFL-CIO, the NAALCP, and Covered California.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Scott in San Diego, I'm glad that you called, sir.  Welcome.

CALLER:  Hey, Rush, second-time caller.  The first topic of the day you covered about UnitedHealthcare not writing policies in California --

RUSH:  Oh, yeah.

CALLER:  -- and why they backed Obamacare, what's the logic behind it. I believe it might be in the risk reserves that they have for health care in each state.  If they stop writing, like let's say policies in California, the risk reserves for California can be freed up, they can basically release those risk reserves to be used as capital for their business or to give like dividends to their shareholders.  It gives them latitude.

RUSH:  So you're saying...

CALLER:  Well, I'm saying they allow that risk reserve, which is billions of dollars, which now they can utilize within their company --

RUSH:  But are you saying that's why they canceled, not because of Obamacare?

CALLER:  Well, that's why they supported Obamacare --

RUSH:  Oh.

CALLER: -- and I think that's why they canceled because now they'll have no more risk in California, they can free up those risk reserves of billions of dollars.

RUSH:  Okay.  So they support Obamacare to sell the policies.

CALLER:  Well, I think they see the writing on the wall, that it is gonna go single payer -- government -- so why not start taking that risk reserve money and using it.

RUSH:  The old risk reserve trick.  You know, I shoulda thought of it and didn't.  You make a great point.  Scott, seriously, thanks for the call. 

I gotta take a quick time-out.  We'll be back and continue. 

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  What Scott was saying was that risk reserve was simply a way of getting out of insuring people.  They got all this money selling policies.  Now they can use Obamacare as an excuse to get out of the insurance business, or at least the unprofitable parts of it.  The risk reserve trick. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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