sloanBy Kelly Sloan

The latest victim of Obamacare’s centralization of healthcare is none other than Rocky Mountain Health Plans. The Grand Junction-based non-profit, once touted by Obama himself as the model for health care delivery, confirmed earlier this week that it is selling to United Health, the nation’s largest for-profit health insurance provider.

The impetus for the sale was RMHP’s inability to remain financially solvent in the face of the oxymoronically-titled Affordable Care Act.

The hilariously-named legislation exacerbated the central problem leading to rising health care costs in America – namely that too many people using too much medicine without paying (or knowing) the full costs for it.

The name may be funny, but the rhetorical gymnastics that Obamacare apologists must perform in defense of this ill-conceived legislation is decidedly less funny. One such gold medalist in Colorado’s dreary club is Dr. Michael Pramenko, a Grand Junction physician and self-appointed lead cheerleader of Obamacare since its infancy.

Dr. Pramenko, who has taken to the pages of the Grand Junction Sentinel on regular intervals to extol the virtues of Obamacare and rhapsodize about how, for instance, the ACA “incentivizes more local control of health care”, has had to perform some serious rhetorical sleight of hand in light of the latest developments.

To wit, here is what Dr. Pramenko said back in October of 2011:

“Section 1322 of the ACA allows for the creation of non-profit health insurance companies that will be run by the consumer. These co-ops, with their local design and local private governance, offer a new paradigm of health delivery.”

Too bad many of the co-ops have failed miserably.

And this:

“…some of the ideas for Section 1322 come straight from Mesa County.
The collaborative efforts of Rocky Mountain Health Plans were referenced multiple times as this program developed. Locally based, non-profit insurance plans understand the significant investment required to realize the efficiencies of electronic health-information exchange, data analysis and integrated networks of physicians and other providers. Conversely, for-profit insurance plans continue to focus on year-to-year profit margins, with little interest in investments in health information technology and physician integration…”

How quickly the narrative adjusts; fast forward to just last week, in the same publication, in an article detailing RMHP’s pending financial collapse necessitating the subsequent sale to United (a large for-profit insurance company of the type denigrated in the above passage), and you find the good doctor is reported as saying that “the Grand Valley stands to benefit from the bigger financial firepower that United brings to the table.” He is then quoted, stating “as much as we would love Rocky to stay nonprofit, that doesn’t fit the model going forward.”

Now that is some impressive flexibility. One wonders what a few more years of Obamacares ravages will do to the tender defenses offered for it by the likes of Dr. Pramenko. Perhaps they will need to begin making reference to Republican talking points on the matter in order to “fit the model going forward”?

Or perhaps even Dr. Pramenko’s powers of legerdemain will prove insufficiently malleable to resist reality, and the good doctor will finally give up and rededicate his considerable skills and talents to the practice, rather than the manipulation, of medical care.