The Corner

Valerie Jarrett Assured Insurance Company CEO Who Feared Losing Money on Obamacare

When the chief executive officer of a major insurance company threatened to raise insurance premiums by 20 percent or more in response to the expected implementation Affordable Care Act, Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior adviser, wrote him a letter.

A congressional investigation shows how Jarrett assured an insurance executive that the risk corridors in Obamacare would prevent companies from losing money.

“Chet Burrell, the President and CEO of Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield, wrote to Ms. Jarrett that insurers would likely require Risk Corridor payments on net and that budget neutrality would lead insurers ‘to increase rates substantially (i.e., as much as 20% or more . . .),’” the House Oversight and Government Reform report says. 

“Ms. Jarrett intervened and wrote to Mr. Burrell that ‘the policy team is aggressively pursuing options.’ After the Administration explained how it would implement the Risk Corridor program in April 11, 2014 guidance, Ms. Jarrett wrote to Mr. Burrell that the Administration had given insurance companies 80 percent of what they sought,” the report says.

That came at a price to taxpayers. “While the Administration’s changes to the Risk Corridor provision protected the profits of insurance companies’ ObamaCare-compliant plans, it was extremely detrimental to taxpayers,” the report states. “According to the information obtained by the Committee, the industries’ expectation for the size of the taxpayer bailout has increased by more than a third since October 1, 2013.”

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