Aetna, a major health insurance company, has decided to cease its participation in the Obamacare exchanges in 11 different states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Salon.com contributor Gary Legum called the insurer’s decision a “move that will almost certainly help cement the public’s view that health insurance company executives are greedy, amoral ogres.”
The Left, never apprehensive to suggest that a business’s decision (if that decision is undesirable to the Leftist cause) stems from greed, calls Aetna’s move avarice.
But does the Left not understand that the Affordable Care Act was passed in order to work with the private insurance companies, developed by the free enterprise system? Actually, it does understand that! Legum wrote in the same piece:
[R]efusing to participate in the exchanges is not by itself a greedy and amoral move. Obamacare is premised on keeping the free market as a major driver of America’s health insurance system, as opposed to adopting some version of single payer. If a health insurance provider finds participating in the exchanges to be an unacceptable drain on its profits, it is free to stop doing so.
However, Legum views Aetna’s decision to pull out and “face market realities,” as stated in its letter written by CEO Mark Bertolini to the Justice Department, as a greedy one.
Aetna’s decision is also being considered an act of politico-economic blackmail against the Department of Justice. The Huffington Post reported, in detail, the motive behind Aetna’s decision to pull out of several states. Aetna planned to merge with another large insurance company, Humana, but the Department of Justice thwarted the move. Because of that decision, the Left says, Aetna is pouting and taking its ball home.
Regarding the merger, the letter states that “Aetna has been a steadfast and strong supporter of the developing public exchange business and the Administration’s efforts to expand healthcare to all Americans.” I can only imagine how few insurance companies are willing to say this, considering the fact that the ACA has caused many of those companies to lose money.
Despite Aetna’s support of the ACA, the healthcare law has caused the company to reach a point that leaves it “with no choice but to take actions to steward its financial health.” It appears, then, that the merger would have been a measure taken to keep Aetna in business.
Staying in business? What’s so immoral about that?