When the health insurers’ lobby double-crossed the Administration and the Hill Dems by releasing the silly PwC report claiming that heath reform would made premiums soar, my thoughts turned at once to revenge. Â I wondered whether there was some provision in the bill that could be taken out, or some provision not in the bill that could be included, to demonstrate that treachery has a price. Â But I didn’t seriously believe that anything along those lines would actually happen.
It’s not yet certain that I was wrong, but it’s starting to look that way, and at a much more radical level than I could have dreamed. Â Both the House and the Senate are moving to remove the industry’s anti-trust exemption.
Of course there’s no way to tell at a distance whether this is for real, or just a move to put AHIP on notice. Â In either case, it’s a good start, and something to ponder for those who think that Obama’s butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth demeanor means that he doesn’t know when and how to get mean.
Oh, and as far as I can tell getting rid of the exemption would be good policy.