Another day, another taxpayer-funded ♡bamaCare!!! co-cop looks set to go Tango-Uniform — this time it’s the Minuteman co-op in Massachusetts:
CO-OPs like Minuteman rely on having enough members to offset their costs, which as start-up health care organizations, can be quite substantial. Minuteman estimated that they need roughly 40,000 members “just to break even,” and expected to sign-up 30,000 in their first year. Instead, they signed up less than 2,000 their first year. Last year they reached 14,000 (only 35 percent of their breakeven enrollment) and they hope to have 23,000 by the end of 2016, which is likely overly optimistic given the markets they are operating in.
Minuteman was one of the 23 insurers launched two years ago as part of Obamacare, with $2.4 billion in seed money from taxpayers. Minuteman got $156 million to get off the ground, a now they’re facing the same struggles that have led to more than half of the CO-OPs shutting down.
In yet another moment of candor, Massachusetts’ most notorious health advisor, Jonathan Gruber, said that “the CO-OP program was a risky venture from the outset, given how difficult it is for new companies to develop provider networks and compete with established insurance companies. But he said it was a risk worth taking,” because “it could pay off by giving consumers access to affordable insurance.”
Minuteman CEO Tom Policelli is the top-paid co-op executive in the country, receiving nearly $600,000 for his services in 2014 — the year in which signups were less than one-fifteenth of what was expected.