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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Insurers: Our Obamacare Losses Will Force Us to Jack Up Rates and Flee Markets in 201

    Insurers: Our Obamacare Losses Will Force Us to
    Jack Up Rates and Flee Markets in 2017

    Guy Benson | Apr 15, 2016

    First, go back and read my Monday Obamacare post, which enumerated the latest headaches and failures associated with the Obama administration's unpopular, failing healthcare overhaul. In the face of mounting empirical evidence, Hillary Clinton continues to stick to the "it's working" fantasy, stubbornly insisting that all is well -- even when she's personally challenged with difficult truths from outside the bubble. How will Democrats spin away this development? Via The Hill:

    Health insurance companies are amplifying their warnings about the financial sustainability of the ObamaCare marketplaces as they seek approval for premium increases next year. Insurers say they are losing money on their ObamaCare plans at a rapid rate, and some have begun to talk about dropping out of the marketplaces altogether. “Something has to give,” said Larry Levitt, an expert on the health law at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Either insurers will drop out or insurers will raise premiums.” While analysts expect the market to stabilize once premiums rise and more young, healthy people sign up, some observers have not ruled out the possibility of a collapse of the market, known in insurance parlance as a “death spiral.” In the short term, there is a growing likelihood that insurers will push for substantial premium increases, creating a political problem for Democrats in an election year. Insurers have been pounding the drum about problems with ObamaCare pricing.

    The "death spiral" begins churning downward when young, healthy people decline to sign up for expensive plans, leaving older, sicker consumers as a disproportionate percentage of health market risk pools. When insurers incur additional losses as a result, they try to compensate by raising rates further (or withdraw from the marketplaces altogether), driving even more of the "desired" consumers away. The problem compounds itself until the risk pools collapse. Given Obamacare's the worse-than-expected enrollment figures and much-discussed warnings from major insurers, a slow death spiral is by no means out of the question. The article says that analysts expect the market "to stabilize" when rates increase and more young people sign up. But the former is likely to serve as a major deterrent to the latter. More:

    The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association released a widely publicized report last month that said new enrollees under ObamaCare had 22 percent higher medical costs than people who received coverage from employers. And a report from McKinsey & Company found that in the individual market, which includes the ObamaCare marketplaces, insurers lost money in 41 states in 2014, and were only profitable in 9 states. “We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges,” Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, said in February. The Aetna CEO noted concerns about the “risk pool,” which refers to the balance of healthy and sick enrollees in a plan. The makeup of the ObamaCare risk pools has been sicker and costlier than insurers hoped. The clearest remedy for the losses is for insurers to raise premiums, perhaps by large amounts — something Republicans have long warned would happen under the healthcare law, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “The industry is clearly setting the stage for bigger premium increases in 2017,” said Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Unstable risk pools and soaring rates (and out of pocket costs). Who could have seen this coming? Aside, that is, from virtually every single Obamacare critic in America -- who have been consistently vindicated by events. The "Affordable" Care Act at work, America. Send your thank you notes to President Obama...and Hillary Clinton. Philip Klein was right: Obamacare is off to a very rough start in 2016, and it appears to be getting worse.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Obamacare Latest: Insurers Flee Exchanges, Uninsured Rate
    Projected to Rise, Co-ops Failing

    Guy Benson | Apr 11, 2016

    Let's take a quick spin through some recent Obamacare-related headlines, shall we?

    (1) One of America's top insurers, hamstrung by losses, pulls out of state exchanges -- as predicted:
    The biggest insurer in the nation has exited the Obamacare exchanges in Arkansas and Georgia, as insurers struggle financially in the exchanges. UnitedHealth will leave the two states and not sell plans in Arkansas and Georgia. The move comes as UnitedHealth has detailed more than $400 million in losses in the Obamacare exchanges and threatened to leave the exchanges altogether...UnitedHealth did not immediately return a request for comment. The insurer has previously said that it may have to leave the entire Obamacare business due to mounting losses.
    Expect this to be an ongoing trend, in light of Obamacare's unsustainable and expensive risk pools.

    (2) In addition to multiple enrollment projection downgrades in recent months, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office now anticipates a rise in the uninsured population over the next ten years:
    “About 13 million people selected plans through the marketplaces in 2016 by the close of the open-enrollment period; however CBO and [the Joint committee on Taxation] estimate that, in any given month, an average of about 12 million people will be covered by insurance purchased through the marketplaces,” states the report. The office also projects that from 2017 to 2026 the number of uninsured individuals is expected to rise from 26 million to 28 million. More employers are expected to cease providing insurance for their employees as a result of the Affordable Care Act. While the office estimates that 155 million people will have coverage through their employer in 2016, that number is expected to decline to 152 million in 2019.

    The New York Times recently published a story exploring how the law hasn't significantly uprooted employer-based coverage, as many critics had predicted. The piece includes this major disclaimer: "Employers may feel differently if the economy turns down and the labor market is less robust or if there is a sudden spike in health care costs. Because workers can no longer be denied an insurance policy because of poor health, companies may be willing to drop coverage under the right circumstances, knowing that insurance is more available to everyone." It also elides a major factor coming down the pike:

    Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has admitted that the so-called 'Cadillac tax' was specifically designed to eventually hit virtually all employer-sponsored plans, despite Democrats' public assurances. Internal White House figures projected that eventually, 93 million Americans will lose their existing healthcare arrangements under Obamacare -- the exact opposite of "if you like your plan, you can keep it."

    (3) The law's failing co-ops will continue to fail:
    Eight of the 11 remaining Obamacare health insurance co-ops appear likely to fail this year, according to an analysis of financial documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twelve of the original 23 federally-financed co-ops have already collapsed. The co-op program was funded with $2.5 billion in 2010. “In general, there’s not a turnaround in sight. The same problems that plagued them before are continuing,” Thomas P. Miller, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who previously served as the senior health economist for the congressional Joint Economic Committee..."
    In case you'd forgotten, one of Hillary Clinton's big plans for fixing the law that was modeled off of her proposal -- and which her daughter admits is "crushing" many consumers with costs -- is to establish...(ta-da!) Obamacare co-ops. No wonder she thinks the law is working; she's badly out of touch.

    (4) Speaking of out of touch, when Ted Cruz recently swung by Jimmy Kimmel's show and decried the Obamacare "disaster," the host pushed back, commenting that he doesn't really know anyone who's had a bad experience with the law. Skip ahead to the 1:45 mark or so for the exchange:

    Cruz proceeded to educate Kimmel (who is generally winsome and funny) about the negative consequences the law has inflicted upon millions of American consumers and many small business owners -- including prohibitively high rates and out-of-pocket costs, which contribute heavily to Obamacare's enduring unpopularity. By a double-digit margin, more Americans say they've been personally harmed by the law than helped. The least supportive group? The uninsured, who cannot afford the "Affordable" Care Act.
    Last edited by lorrie; 04-18-2016 at 03:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    This just proves beyond any doubt the total stupidity and incompetence of the US Congress.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member posylady's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    We had one hospital close near us and our local hospital is now ready to close from Obamacare. People can't afford the high deductibles or co-pays along with uninsured hospital are taking a beating. The laws written into Obamacare keeps healthcare workers from doing their jobs. I have heard several Dr.s tell patients you have Obamacare to thank for this or that. My husbands Dr. complained that he was not able to practice medicine anymore he had to follow Obamacare rules. Last year I worked at a tax service and people were coming in with letters saying their insurance was cancelled. When we checked on it. One lady had 11 policies 10 were cancelled here name was spelt one letter different on each cancelled policy. This happened to about 8 of our clients. Wouldn't take a genus to figure out this was deliberate effort to increase enrollment numbers.

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