One of the saddest effects of mindless partisan hatred is that, when problems with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) programs crop up, and the programs die, the folks with power have a bipartisan incentive to wipe out any salvage value.
Fervent Republicans seem to want to transport any PPACA program corpses into space and wipe them out with photon torpedoes.
Fervent Democrats seem to want any PPACA program corpses to evaporate, to avoid letting any of those filthy profit-seeking enterprises benefit from the remains of gorgeous, perfect entities that would have done great, amazingly great, if the Republicans had not poisoned them.
Meanwhile, thrifty, middle-of-the-road, pragmatic taxpayers who just want everybody to be happy, and for any public or private health programs that are out there to work properly, see what could be tens of millions of dollars, or even hundreds of millions of dollars, in asset value going “poof.”
One example is what apparently will happen to Health Republic Insurance of New York, one of the failed non-profit, member-owned Consumer Operated Oriented Plan (CO-OP) carriers, and other CO-OPs that managed to build a decent level of name recognition.
On the one hand, it seems as if going by what state regulators say, the managers of Health Republic of New York, which attracted 200,000 enrollees, did a poor job of managing the company’s finances. They say it has to be shut down because it’s in terrible condition. A quick look at consumer review sites would suggest that the carrier might not have had great administrative systems, either.
But, on the other hand, the carrier was good at marketing itself and building brand name recognition. It did attract 200,000 enrollees. That might be partly because it underpriced its coverage, but I know I personally saw its giveaways all over the place.
If Health Republic of New York were a traditional, for-profit insurance company, I think rehabilitators and others would be talking about trying to sell its brand name, its logo, its member lists, or any other assets it happened to have, to get some more cash for the creditors and, maybe, to increase the odds that someone, somewhere would get some use out of the assets.