Health Insurance Bridge to Nowhere

The folks in Washington that gave us the "bridge to nowhere" have done it again, this time with health insurance. ERRP (Early Retirement Reinsurance Program) as announced by HHS is supposed to make it easier for employers to provide health insurance to early retirees. Congress authorized $5 billion of money they did not have to fund this program until 2014.

Most expect that will not be enough to support the program, but then, what else is new? According to Sunshine News:

Sixty-nine Florida businesses and government entities have been accepted into a new federal program designed to help employers and unions maintain health coverage for early retirees not yet eligible for Medicare.

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is designed to be a $5 billion bridge to the new federally mandated health insurance exchanges that begin in 2014.

But U.S. Rep. Bill Posey said the program looks more like a shell game, and it could come up short financially.

Rep. Posey is not the only one with this concern.

"The timing of this announcement by the administration is interesting because earlier this month Medicare trustees issued a report noting on page 183 that the new health-care law will result in nearly 6 million retirees losing their prescription drug coverage from their former employers — a fact that went largely unreported," said Posey, R-Cocoa.

Posey added, "Nowhere in today’s HHS release is there a reference to HHS’ own warning to retirees that this program is largely unfunded — by perhaps tens of billions of dollars.

Probably just an oversight . . .

The White House said immediate action was needed to bridge the health-care gap for early retirees, noting that the percentage of large firms providing retiree coverage dropped from 66 percent in 1988 to 29 percent in 2009.

Does the White House actually believe they can magically reverse a trend of the last 20 years when they can't reverse the unemployment and foreclosure trend of the last 2 years? Or do they only care if the voters believe this garbage?

The folks at EBRI, who have a pretty good handle on health insurance costs, have estimated the money for ERRP will run out in 2 years.

Just another stupid government trick from the folks who brought you Obamacrap.

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