Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's all very incestuous: AHIP+AFL+ ACA

Please bear with me here as I attempt to connect some very interesting - if disturbing - dots.

As regular readers know, AHIP (the health insurance industry's lobbying organization) has been on-board Team O'Care since Day One. What folks may not know is just how deep the ties run between the administration, major labor unions and the insurance industry.

For the purposes of this exercise, I think it best if we start at the end and work backwards:

[Click pic to embiggen]

That's a screen cap from a rather enlightening document from the Clinton Library detailing some of the behind-the-scenes HillaryCare "negotiations." And here's where it gets interesting:

At the time this was going on, Karen Ignani was the director of the AFL-CIO's Department of Employee Benefits, and then immediately segued into running the American Association of Health Plans (which eventually became AHIP, America’s Health Insurance Plans). So, running the benefits advocacy arm of arguably the largest labor union, then straight to running the lobbying arm of the health insurance industry.

And where is the lovely Ms Ignani currently? Well, she's safely ensconced as President and CEO of EmblemHealth, a New York-based insurer with almost 3 1/2 million members (and $10 billion in the bank). Which brings us back to the rather interesting (embarrassing?) revelation from that 1993 meeting. And remember, at the time she was either already heading up the health insurance industry's trade group or about to:

"Karen Ignani was concerned or upset about leaving insurance companies in charge of the health plans ... who preferred to see a single-payer system" [emphasis added]

Interesting conflict of interest there, wouldn't you agree?

Let's move on, shall we? After all, I promised dots (as in 'plural'):

So we have one woman who went from the AFL-CIO to AHIP to EmblemHealth.

But who replaced her ?

Well, that would be the lovely and talented Marilyn Tavenner, who came to AHIP directly from her previous gig as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the bureaucracy tasked with implementing ObamaCare.

So, government bureauweenie to lobbyist for the very industry she was previously responsible for policing.

Are we beginning to see a pattern here?

Which brings us back to why, exactly, would a paid industry shill - as well as the current CEO of a successful health insurance company - be "concerned or upset about leaving insurance companies in charge of the health plans?" The fact that the end-goal of both HillaryCare and ObamaCare is Single Payer seems relevant, no?

Which still leaves me puzzled, and a bit disturbed.

Or am I missing something obvious?

[Hat Tip: Ʀєfùsєηíκ]
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