Mass. Gov. Patrick offers glimpse of future ‘death panels’

Yes, Virginia, there will be death panels … for insurance companies at least.

Massachusetts, which presaged ObamaCare with its RomneyCare, offers a peek at the future. Already faced with some of the highest health insurance premiums in the nation, this week Gov. Deval Patrick announced the rejection of 235 of 274 insurance companies’ proposed rate increases. The proposed increases ranged from 8 percent to 34 percent.

“For me this is all about jobs and creating conditions in which small businesses will start hiring,’’ Patrick was quoted as saying by the Boston Globe.

The paper also quoted Jay McQuaide, vice president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, who countered by saying, “The rates we filed reflect expected medical costs of members buying our products. And we were surprised the disapprovals had no actuarial opinions, suggesting this was an arbitrary decision.’’

Most of the companies whose rates were rejected reported operating losses in 2009.

In an editorial on this topic today, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama, speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Boston on Thursday night, praised the job Gov. Partick is doing. Obama also said ObamaCare would "end the worst practices of the insurance industry."

The WSJ response: “Such as daring to exist.”

Only government can lose money year after year and continue to exist.

And only those who’ve spent their entire lives in government can’t figure this out.

After the flap over the big companies taking write-downs as a result of ObamaCare, American Spectator anonymously quoted someone who was in a meeting about ObamaCare with the president and the CEOs of some of those big companies.

"Most of these people (in the Administration) have never had a real job in their lives. They don’t understand a thing about business, and that includes the President," American Spectator quoted a senior lobbyist for one of the companies that announced the charge. "My CEO sat with the President over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the President what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the President didn’t understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying. Frankly my boss was embarrassed for him; he clearly had not been briefed and didn’t know what was in the bill."

Nobody seemed to know or care what was in the bill. Death panels, perhaps?

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