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Don’t blame the GOP, Obamacare killed itself

Don’t blame the GOP, Obamacare killed itself

Just look at Aetna

Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers announced Wednesday it would completely withdraw from Obamacare marketplaces in 2018.

Nebraska, Delaware, Virginia, and Iowa are the only Obamacare exchanges where Aetna currently participates. A month ago Aetna announced plans to leave the Iowa market, followed by yet another announcement of a Virginia marketplace exit. With Aetna’s withdrawal, Delawareans and Nebraskans will be left with one insurer on the exchange.

“The company said it expects to lose more than $200 million in its individual business line this year, on top of nearly $700 million in losses between 2014 and 2016. Aetna withdrew from 11 of its 15 markets for 2017. It has 255,000 Obamacare policyholders this year, down from 964,000 at the end of last year,” according to CNN Money.

From the WaPo:

According to an Aetna spokesman, the insurer will not sell individual health plans next year in Delaware or Nebraska. Its announcement came a week after the company said it would stop offering ACA health plans in Virginia in 2018 and a month after it said it would leave Iowa.

The cascade of state-by-state decisions represents a stark turnabout for the nation’s third-largest insurer, which initially entered 15 states’ marketplaces but last summer decided to slash its 2017 participation to just four. That retreat was the largest by any health insurer from the health-care law’s marketplaces, which started in 2014 to provide coverage for people who cannot get affordable health benefits through their employers.

The writing was on the wall as early as last year when Aetna announced a large-scale pairing back of Obamacare market participation. Last summer I blogged:

The more than 800,000 Americans who purchase their insurance from one of Aetna’s exchange plans will be out of luck once this year is over. Health insurance giant Aetna announced late Monday evening that they would be scaling back their Obamacare exchange offerings to a paltry four states.

The reason? Losses amounting to more than $430 million.

“Following a thorough business review and in light of a second-quarter pretax loss of $200 million and total pretax losses of more than $430 million since January 2014 in our individual products, we have decided to reduce our individual public exchange presence in 2017, which will limit our financial exposure moving forward. More than 40 payers of various sizes have similarly chosen to stop selling plans in one or more rating areas in the individual public exchanges over the 2015 and 2016 plan years, collectively exiting hundreds of rating areas in more than 30 states. As a strong supporter of public exchanges as a means to meet the needs of the uninsured, we regret having to make this decision,” said Aetna in an official statement.

Like many other large insurers, Aetna claims they can no longer offer an affordable product.

Earlier this year, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said Obamacare was in a “death spiral.”

The tale is one that’s plagued every Obamacare exchange — not enough young, healthy consumers are purchasing insurance to offset the costs of insuring sicker individuals, making it impossible for insurers to offer affordable products.

Obamacare has effectively killed itself, but you’d never know that based on the vast majority of reports, all of which suggest the Republican alternative would put half the country in an early grave…an alternative no one has seen yet.

The House passed their version of Obamacare repeal by way of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA), only for the Senate to decide to scrap the bill in favor of writing their own.

Senate Republicans are being chastised for writing new legislation behind closed doors, but given the national hysterics over the House bill, can you blame them?

Obamacare was never meant to succeed. It was designed purely to drive the American health insurance marketplace into the ground, paving the way for a single-payer system. As soon as the ACA’s failure became too obvious for even Democrats to deny, they began claiming single-payer would solve America’s health insurance ills.

Obamacare’s failure is not the fault of the GOP. Its failure is a feature of the law, written and passed by Democrats, not a glitch.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

Senate Republicans are being chastised for writing new legislation behind closed doors, but given the national hysterics over the House bill, can you blame them?

Good point. OTOH, wouldn’t it be great if each house of congress had a “press secretary” to explain what they were trying to do?

Well, things didn’t turn out as planned by the socialists. Obamacare is supposed to fail and us peons were supposed to run crying to HRH Hillary and DEMAND that the good nanny state immediately institute SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE where the good nanny state decides (via death panel) who gets what care and for how long. A mixture of VA “healthcare” and DMV bureaucracy. However PRESIDENT TRUMP intervened and now the collapse of obamacare presents an opportunity for the non-establishment non-socialists to correct the problems left behind by Obama and his socialists.

    now the collapse of obamacare presents an opportunity for the non-establishment non-socialists to correct the problems left behind by Obama and his socialists.

    Unfortunately for all of us, there aren’t enough non-establishment non-socialists to make much difference. They get shouted down by the socialists and #NeverTrump’ers.

    And the Democrats, too.

    Mac45 in reply to Fiftycaltx. | May 12, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I’m sorry, but the only opportunity to save the healthcare insurance system, and healthcare itself, without the government taking control of both sides of the healthcare coin, is for the governments to stop financing healthcare, period. Get out of it altogether. However, this is not politically possible. Cutting off ACA subsidies will throw millions of people off of HC insurance, making it impossible for them to afford healthcare services. This would cause the removal of almost every Congressman who voted for that. De-funding Medicaid and Medicare would eliminate the rest. The loss of revenue for healthcare services would lead to facility closures and layoffs of medical and support staff. Costs would come down, but this would take months, if not years, and some people would not survive. Politically, there is nothing that can be done to reverse the problems with medical costs which will not result in a lot of politicians losing their jobs. So, watch as little or nothing gets done to alleviate the situation, until the system collapses under its own weight. Then the politicians will “save” us by taking over and funding the entire medical care system, including insurance.

    People have to wake up. The medical care system was in a death spiral in 2005. The ACA did what it was supposed to do, accelerate that death spiral. The only thing that would have done anything to reverse the problem, in 2005, is the same thing that exists today; either cease government funding of healthcare or nationalize it. Neither is going to be pleasant.

The honkers killed obamacare!

casualobserver | May 12, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Gruber, the primary architect, is suggesting the GOP is responsible for thw failure because……they didn’t take action to save. Someting about how it was doing fine until the end of last year. Really?

To be political means to drop any effort to be rational or logical.

What bothers me a little bit is how the narrative on Obamacare has changed from stupid to the absurd. Previously, Obamacare was hailed as a great success and anyone who disagreed was intrinsically a bad person. Never mind the soaring deductibles, never mind premium increases nearing 100%, never mind who it was hemorrhaging users, and forget how insurers were leaving the program as fast as they could; it was still a success.
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Now the Republicans are trying to fix it, but they cannot. Chuck Schumer has made it abundantly clear that no Democrat will ever vote for any kind of change or replacement, so what options are left? Republicans can tinker around the edges in hopes of sneaking something through by reconciliation, but even that is a stretch for if too many changes are made, then the Democrats will cry “foul!” and demand the reconciliation process void.
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So now we have a watered down version of a reconciliation modification that passed the House that no one likes and it’s the Republicans fault? Really? If we had a functional Congress then perhaps we could make progress, but Schumer has all but banned civility as well as any Congressional actions necessary for law making. Of course, Schumer and the Democrats cannot be blamed for Obamacare and its failure nor can they be blamed for their refusal to allow Republicans any attempt to fix or replace it in any meaningful or competent manner. So now everyone is claiming that Republicans own Obamacare and are guilty of screwing the entire healthcare system. This bothers me for it is nothing but an enormous lie.
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But what really bothers me a whole lot more, what really sticks in my craw irritating me to no end, is how so many mental midgets out there in the public actually buy into this lie as though they were written as fact into the Constitution. How has the American people become so utterly stupid?

Articles like this one are useless because they bring no focus to the problem – OBAMACARE IS BAD POLICY. The collapse of that system is predictable because it replaces common sense with central planning and spreads the misery.

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