The health-system overhaul proposed by Sen. Max Baucus would create millions of new insurance customers without subjecting health insurers to government-run competition -- two key victories for the much-maligned industry.The math here is very simple:
Individual Mandate (millions of new customers) – Competition (public option) = Huge Profits
The health insurance companies got the individual mandate they wanted, even though Obama campaigned against it. They also scored a huge victory when Baucus did not include the a public option in his bill, something Obama did campaign on.
The WSJ story concludes with:
The outcome is still uncertain. "I think there's only a limited chance that this could get worse [for the insurance industry]," said Sheryl Skolnick, who follows health-care services at financial-services firm Pali Capital Inc. "When all is said and done, the health plans should say a prayer of thanks to the Senate Finance Committee."I couldn't have said it better myself.