IBD Poll: 65 Percent of Americans Oppose Bailing Out Insurers If Obamacare Can't Draw Enough Young Customers

December 7th, 2013 5:01 PM

The front page of Friday’s Investor’s Business Daily carried bad polling news for Obamacare. John Merline reported: “The public overwhelmingly opposes any ObamaCare bailout of the insurance industry, the latest IBD/TIPP Poll found, even as the Obama administration is paving the way to do just that.”

You might not see this poll elsewhere, but it found that 65 percent oppose a federal bailout of insurance companies if their profits take a hit because not enough young, healthy people sign up for ObamaCare plans.

Opposition is widespread, the poll of 907 adults found, with 51% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans and 76% of independents against it. It's opposed by every age and demographic group as well.

Although few people knew about it until recently, the health law contains a three-year "risk corridor program" designed to bail out insurers if costs were higher than anticipated from too few young people enrolled.

The administration planned on 2.7 million young enrolling in the first year. Early data show that relatively few are doing so. And a Harvard University survey found less than a third of young uninsured say they plan to buy an ObamaCare exchange plan.

Merline added that Gary Cohen, a top official at HHS, told the industry not to worry, since, as he put it in a letter to state insurance commissioners, "the risk corridor program should help ameliorate unanticipated changes in premium revenue." He concluded: “Translation: Taxpayers will bail the industry out of any costs created by Obama's ‘fix.’”