And it’s a doozy — if by “doozy” you mean “up to tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars per co-op enrollee.” If you don’t remember the insurance co-ops from ♡bamaCare!!!, here’s a short primer from Melissa Quinn:
Under Obamacare, co-ops were designed to inject competition into markets with limited insurance options. Through the program facilitated by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight—a subagency of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—23 co-ops were created and received federal funding.
To assist the new insurers in getting off the ground, the federal government disbursed $2.5 billion in low-interest startup and solvency loans as of December.
The co-ops aren’t huge, although you could argue that 500,000 or so enrollees is a big number, compared to ♡bamaCare!!!’s modest total enrollments. The interesting number is how much it costs us to insure co-op customers:
However, an analysis conducted by The Daily Signal published yesterday found that just one, Maine Community Health Options, was profitable last year.
Using the latest quarterly filings for 22 co-ops, The Daily Signal examined how much money (in federal dollars) co-ops received per consumer who enrolled in a group or individual plan. On average, each co-op received $17,344 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services per enrollee.
$17,344 in co-op subsidies doesn’t look like “competition” to me; it looks like another massive government boondoggle. To be fair though, the taxpayer expense differs wildly from state to state. A co-op customer here in Colorado doesn’t cost much more than a typical ♡bamaCare!!! dole recipient, at “just” $5,700 per. But in Ohio the expense runs to nearly $26,000, in Illinois nearly $47,000, and — brace yourself — the Massachusetts/New Hampshire program runs $85,863 in taxpayer money for each and every enrollee.
That same money could have bought each person a sane policy in some other state, with a fine German touring sedan on the side. Instead, the money went… where, exactly?
Remember when Massachusetts was heralded as a model for the country? Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?