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Unstable: Obamacare bailout in NH

July 22. 2017 7:05PM

It's not a tax. It's not a fee. It's an "assessment."

The New Hampshire Department of Insurance wants to charge health insurance companies a $36.8 million assessment to fund a reinsurance pool in order to prop up the state's failing health care exchange.

"To call it a tax is misstating what it really is," argues Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. Sure.

His plan is to use the "don't-call-it-a-tax" revenue, along with $8.2 million from the bottomless federal treasury, to "stabilize" the individual insurance market. He wants to increase costs on the part of the health insurance marketplace that actually works in order to subsidize the part that is crumbling.

Anthem, the state's largest health insurance provider, supports the tax, er, assessment. Of course it does. It would get the money back, but only after adding to the premiums of customers in the group market.

Gov. Chris Sununu supports efforts to stabilize the exchange but not the assessment.

The Insurance Department has scheduled a series of public hearings on the plan but won't need legislative approval to impose a $36.8 million tax increase. All to prop up a failing health insurance scheme that forces people to buy plans they don't want.

Insurance companies are losing their shirts in the Obamacare exchanges, and many are fleeing. Sevigny wants to pull money from other customers to help the insurance carriers cover those losses.

The instability of Obamacare isn't some new, unexpected feature. It's a pre-existing condition. We should just pull the plug.

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