Affordable Care Act Makes Allies Out of Obama and Insurance Companies


Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, President Obama has become more dependent on the administration’s relationship with insurance companies.  Presently, the relationship is becoming increasingly beneficial for both parties.

The relationship was evident in the botched launch of the website. Insurance companies lent a helping hand to the administration by waiving enrollment deadlines and helping the White House repair the website. The help from insurance companies is part of a developing symbiotic relationship, fostered by the tens of billions of dollars that come from the federal Treasury to insurers each year.

This relationship is expected to grow as the ACA matures. Medicare, Medicaid and the insurance exchanges will insure an estimated 170 million people by 2023, an increase of about 50%. Compared to the growth of employer-based coverage, which is expected to increase by only 2%, it is clear that this relationship will become increasingly important in the years to come.

“We are in this together,’ Kevin J. Counihan, the chief executive of the federal insurance marketplace, told insurers at a recent conference in Washington. ‘You have been our partners,’ and for that, he said, ‘we are very grateful."

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