“Insurers have much at stake in the law. The online exchanges, where people can buy private plans with government subsidies, represent a potential windfall of $205 billion a year in added sales by 2021, according to a report last year from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.”
As we have written before, the primary winners in the Obamacare program are the big insurance companies. As such these companies are very concerned that the exchanges have gotten off to such a rocky start. Today they have flown into DC to talk with the president’s staff, including Valerie Jarrett Obama’s most important confidant.
The executives will meet with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, according to Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans. Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna Inc. (AET), the third-biggest U.S. health plan, also will attend, according to Cynthia Michener, a company spokeswoman.
WellPoint, the second-largest plan, and other insurers stand to gain millions of customers in an expansion of private insurance options and Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The industry, though, has raised alarms about faulty data from the federal insurance exchange since it opened Oct. 1. That could keep consumers from getting the coverage they thought they had purchased for next year.