$59 million loan goes to Kentucky Health Care Cooperative… maybe

The Supreme Court may very well invalidate this in their ruling tomorrow, but here’s the word from Rep. John Yarmuth’s office on the next phase of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, Death Panels, etc…): real, honest-to-God, affordable health care:

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) said the award of a federal loan to create a Kentucky Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) will lower health care costs for individuals and small businesses, and make affordable care available to more Kentuckians.

On Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that the Kentucky Health Care Cooperative (KYHC) has received a $58,831,500 federal loan to open the new CO-OP. The CO-OP program, created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, encourages the creation of nonprofit, innovative, and consumer-responsive health insurance companies to increase competition in the individual and small-business markets. Beginning in 2014, CO-OPs will offer plans through the state-based health insurance exchanges.

“Louisvillians want lower costs and more choice in their health care, and the nonprofit CO-OP will provide both while expanding access to affordable insurance for individuals and small businesses,” Yarmuth said. “The state-based exchanges are an integral part of strengthening care under the Affordable Care Act, and I am pleased that Kentucky will be at the forefront of these market-based reforms.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, profits gained by a CO-OP must go directly back to their enrollees, to be used to lower premiums, expand benefits, or improve quality.

Then again, if the Supreme Court strikes down the entire law, this is all moot. But if the Supreme Court strikes down just the insurance mandate, this stays. However, without the mandate bringing healthy people into the exchange, this would likely become a high-risk pool that would not see lower insurance costs, thus negating the entire goal of the law.

But then again, the mandate was the Republican’s favorite health care idea for decades… until it had that nasty “Obama” tag in front of it.

Rep. Yarmuth remains confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.

Stay tuned tomorrow…

One Comment

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