Sunday, January 25, 2009

What Do Professional Wrestling and Political Wrangling Over Health Insurance Have in Common?

Check out this January 21 editorial from The Hill. Apparently, while the Obama administration is playing nicey nice with all the stakeholders in his various initiatives, one group that has been left out in the cold are the health insurers. According to the editors, President Obama et al are getting ready to spill some blood. Woo hoo!

Don’t be fooled. The Disease Management Care Blog knows that health insurers are inured to being the bad guy when it comes to blame games. While the public face of health insurance is a curious mix of ‘We Care!’ platitudes and ‘You Don’t Love Me?’ dismay at public hearings and in press releases, they have a) been getting pseudo-beat up for decades and b) are continuing to use back communication channels to have very meaningful and constructive dialogues with the politicians, policymakers and regulators. While things may certainly 'change,' the likelihood of a wholesale disembowelment of the insurers is remote. They know their job is to reconcile what doctors and patients want with what the premium will cover while maintaining reserves and a surplus that are tightly - and I mean tightly - controlled by State regulators. They'll continue to do that while contributing to the shape of coming health reform...quietly.

This is more akin to the faux professional wrestling than bloody cage fighting. Every time a politician rails against those loathsome insurers, think Hulk Hogan throwing a fake forearm at the Undertaker while stomping on the mat to make a big noise. Once they’re on the bus heading to the next show, they’re sharing drinks.


No comments: