ObamaCare just became a win-win proposition for insurance companies. Tucked into hundreds of pages of new rulings on the Affordable Care Act last week was a promise to pay insurers for any losses they incur by providing coverage on government exchanges, the LA Times reports. The Obama administration inserted the provision to try to keep premiums down; insurers get the money, which would be diverted from other health programs, only if they keep rate hikes modest.
Conservatives are already bashing the move as a "bailout," and some Senate Republicans are accusing Obama of making "another end-run around Congress." The administration defended the move by saying it was "highly unlikely" the funds would actually be needed. In other bad news for the law's supporters, a poll of emergency room doctors released today found that 46% had seen an uptick in visits since benefits kicked in, compared with 23% who saw a decline, the Huffington Post reports. One of the law's selling points was that giving people access to primary care would reduce ER visits.