Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
By: J. D. Heyes
Americans were told that the Affordable Care Act was the health reform law that would finally insure everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, preexisting conditions or other factors. But like so much we were promised about Obamacare, that fundamental principle of the law is turning out to be a lie as well.
Because of Obamacare’s thousands of pages of requirements and rules, it has become impossible for insurance companies to operate health insurance divisions profitably through the various state exchanges established under the law. So they’re pulling out, leaving millions without any coverage at all.
Just like before.
As reported by Bloomberg news, more and more people are discovering that the health insurance they thought they had will vanish next year, forcing them to find coverage anew (because of that “you have to have insurance or we’ll fine you” mandate in Obamacare), even as prices rise and options dwindle.
It’s the perfect storm of government stupid.
Bloomberg noted that at least 1.4 million people in 32 states are set to lose the Obamacare plan they currently have, according to state officials interviewed by the news organization. That is mostly due to insurers Aetna, UnitedHealth Group and some state and regional insurers leaving the Obamacare exchanges (because they’re hemorrhaging money).
No one in the administration wants to admit this law is a disaster
Despite this quickening death spiral, Obamacare sign-ups begin for the year next month – and Congress and the White House remain focused on the presidential contest.
That said, Obamacare has become a major issue in this year’s contest. For her part, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said that she supports Obamacare with some “minor” changes; GOP nominee Donald J. Trump has repeatedly pledged to “repeal and replace” Obamacare (hopefully by “replace” he means getting Uncle Sam out of the healthcare business altogether). The difference between each candidate really is that stark.
Bloomberg reported that at this point it isn’t clear what the departure of so many large insurers will mean, but in interviews with insurance customers and regulators, it appears that, at a minimum, there will be far fewer and more expensive plans, many of which likely won’t include the same doctors and hospitals.
Right about now would be time for Obama to step up, be a man and admit his mistake in imposing this law upon the land, while proposing a measure to dismantle it, but alas, we advise that you don’t hold your breath.
In addition to loss of choice and higher prices, next year will probably see fewer people covered under Obamacare. As of March 31, there were 11.1 million people covered, but on Oct. 13, Bloomberg reported, an S&P Global Ratings report estimated that enrollment could decline by as much as 8 percent.
The ‘new normal:’ Busted coverage, fewer choices, higher prices
Bloomberg said that it contacted officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to come up with the 1.4 million estimate, which includes 32 states and only plans that are sold on the individual exchanges. Insurers have pulled out of Missouri, Texas, Arizona and Georgia, though regulators could not or would not say how many people overall are going to be affected. And three states did not provide sufficient data, though Bloombergdid not list them.
As usual, officials with the government bureaucracy charged with overseeing implementation of the law – the Department of Health and Human Services, the same agency that used billions to develop a faulty, non-functional Obamacare website – are covering up the worst of the implications while making excuses.
“It’s part of the normal business cycle for insurers to discontinue, change, and replace plans from year to year,” Benjamin Wakana, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, told Bloomberg by e-mail. “Such changes don’t prevent people from obtaining coverage. People can shop for new coverage through a transparent market.”
Maybe having major health insurers drop out of insurance markets is part of the new normal under Obamacare, because that didn’t happen before Obamacare became the law of the land. And in this case, “such changes” will mean that new coverage will cost a lot more, as analysts have predicted.