Health Insurers May Maintain Delivery System Reforms If Obamacare Is Struck Down

After pledging to fully repeal Obamacare for the last two years, a growing number of Republicans have expressed support for maintaing some of the law’s most popular provisions if the Supreme Court overturns the measure later this month. Health insurers UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana soon followed suit, pledging to keep children on their parents’ health care plan until age 26, maintain a ban on lifetime maximums on most benefit payouts, and provide some preventive care at no additional cost.

ThinkProgress spoke with several major health care insurers to see where they stood on maintaining other key parts of Obamacare and found limited interest in preserving the measures that could potentially drive up costs if there is no individual mandate adding healthy people into insurance pools:

— UNITED HEALTHCARE: The company “said it can’t cover children with pre-existing illnesses unless other insurers also agree to cover them, and that it would work with “all other participants in the health- care system.”

— AETNA: “[W]e recognize that the ACA has propelled interest in exploring new ways to deliver care. We believe that our work to collaborate with providers, such as Accountable Care Organizations, is key to building a more effective health care system. We are committed to leading the way in delivering solutions that transform our system and deliver on the goals of reform.”

— CIGNA: “Cigna believes in respecting the court’s process. We remain focused on our global customer programs, and are prepared to proceed as appropriate on behalf of our customers when the court deliberations reach their conclusion.”

— HUMANA: “We’ll have additional comment (beyond the statement we sent out yesterday) after the Supreme Court issues its ruling.”

Republicans are already pointing to the industry’s announcement as proof that the private market has somehow reasoned out health care reforms on its own, conveniently ignoring the industry’s multi-million dollar effort to prevent the measures from becoming law in the first place.

And while insurers’ willingness to maintain these measures is a good start, they would do little to help the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions find affordable covrage or reduce health care spending.

Steven Perlberg