Thus spake President Obama.
What remained unsaid was that he thinks it’s OK if insurance companies go broke.
Whatever you may think about insurance companies, they provide insurance. If they are driven out of business by government mandates that raise their costs — and Obama’s expansive, intrusive program will raise their costs, significantly, if it’s implemented — health insurance will be less available from the private sector. This means that under his scheme health insurance will become increasingly and inevitably a government-provided service.
Obama also said that he isn’t against insurance companies. Maybe he’s not, I don’t know. But he wants them to change their behavior in ways that will increase their costs and reduce their profits. Whatever he says he wants to do, and wants other people to do, he can’t force anyone to provide goods or services. Companies will eventually choose to go out of business if their alternative is to lose money in perpetuity. And on the margin a future of money-losing alternatives is what President Obama offers to health-insurance companies (and perhaps also to drug companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospital operators and many physicians) under his plans.