I wrote last week about the Democrats’ new strategy of focusing their fire on the insurance companies in order to have a “villain” to attack during the August recess. The New York Times discusses this shift this morning, quoting President Obama saying last week to the AARP that he will “reform the insurance companies so they can’t take advantage of you.”
The Times notes that “[t]he hard line is a departure for the White House, which began its overhaul campaign by trying to win over constituency groups — doctors, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and insurers among them.”
This new tack from the White House puts Karen Ignani, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, and someone who has been cooperating with the overhaul efforts, in an awkward position. The Times quotes her as saying, “The rhetoric that we are hearing is reminiscent of ’93, ’94, but we’re on the 2009 playbook.” She then said, as if to remind her former allies, that “[t]he inconvenient fact is that we support those reforms.”
Other industries cooperating with the effort should take careful note.