One of Hillary Clinton’s more infamous sound bites was when she snapped: “I can’t be responsible for every under-capitalized entrepreneur in America” after she was told in 1993 that her health-care scheme would wipe out many small businesses. Alas, America forgot this important lesson in the mindset of the doctrinaire socialist… so here we are, stuck with ObamaCare and watching its tentacles crush the life out of jobs and businesses across the land.
The latest victims include a 30-year old church-run day care center in Texas, leaving the parents of some 145 children to make new accommodations:
Buck up, little campers! No doubt a massive federally-funded program will spring up to cover your needs. Why, a cynic might even say that’s one of the objectives of ObamaCare, not an unfortunate side effect. Why let some local church group handle child care, when Washington can do it half as well for fifty times the expense?
Perhaps more ominously, ObamaCare has started killing off health insurance providers, such as CoOpportunity Health of Iowa. Its obituary was written by the New York Times on Monday:
A few days after Christmas, Lisa Lovig’s doctor called with jarring news. The health insurer covering her cancer treatments had run out of money, and its future was at best uncertain.
“I was terrified,” said Ms. Lovig, 59, who has pancreatic cancer and relies on her insurance to cover frequent doctor appointments, tests and a litany of expensive drugs. “I didn’t know what was going to happen to me.”
Her insurer, CoOportunity Health, was one of 23 nonprofit cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act to generate more competition and choice in insurance markets dominated by huge for-profit companies. Many of these newcomers to the industry, seeded with hundreds of millions of dollars in federal loans, struggled to attract customers after the law’s online insurance exchanges opened in 2013. But CoOportunity had seemed to flourish, with over 120,000 customers in Iowa and Nebraska — far more than the 15,000 it had anticipated — by the end of last year.
Its success apparently helped doom it. CoOportunity’s many customers needed more medical care than expected, according to Nick Gerhart, Iowa’s insurance commissioner, and it had priced its plans too low. After taking control of the co-op in late December, Mr. Gerhart decided last month that it could not be saved and asked a court to liquidate it. The co-op, he said at the time, faced more than $150 million in liabilities. That left its customers scrambling for new coverage, and providers wondering if millions of dollars in outstanding claims would ever get paid.
More broadly, it raised the question of whether one of the Affordable Care Act’s biggest experiments in holding down insurance costs was in trouble beyond Iowa and Nebraska. The co-ops, which the law says must be “consumer governed” by boards elected by their customers, have received nearly $2 billion in federal loans, including $145 million that went to CoOportunity. They were initially supposed to receive $6 billion over time, but Congress later slashed the amount and virtually no funds remain.
“Certainly I’m very disheartened right now,” said Dr. David Carlyle, a family physician in Ames, Iowa, who served on a board that advised the Obama administration on how to set up the cooperatives. “If you can’t have competition, you’re going to go back to a world where a large percent of the population is unable to get health insurance.”
If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Nobody is going to… oh, what’s the point of repeating the old lies any more? Not even the most deluded dead-end Obama supporters are still trying to argue that he was telling the truth as he understood it at the time. These days, they spend most of their time arguing that you can pretend ObamaCare was kinda sorta successful if you just ignore everybody who was hurt by it – screaming “SHUT UP!” into their faces if necessary – and avoid dwelling on how much it’s all going to cost us.
Just about anything can be made to appear successful if cost and overall effectiveness are ignored, just as Americans were hornswaggled into throwing away their health care system by touting phony statistics about the number of people who supposedly didn’t benefit from it… and ignoring polls showing that most people were happy with it.
Allow me to translate this grim news about health-care co-ops for you: like everything else about ObamaCare, the relatively modest premiums paid by some customers in the first year or two of the program were a lie. The payments were made artificially low to fool a critical mass of people into thinking ObamaCare was a good deal, deferring the mounting suspicious of the American people for a crucial period until the dependency cement could harden. Once enough people are dependent upon a program, leftist theory holds, the complaints of those required to pay for it cease to matter.
Contrary to Dr. Carlyle’s assertion, we’re still living in a world where “a large percent of the population is unable to get health insurance,” and a lot of the people who have gotten it – at fantastic public expense – are not happy with the product. The failure of key components of ObamaCare won’t be taken as a sign that the program has failed and needs to be replaced, however. No, the failure of this scheme was always built right into its basic code, and the “solution” rammed down our throats will be single-payer health care, in which everyone gets “coverage,” but only the well-connected get decent medicine.
The cash pipeline flowing from the U.S. Treasury, through ObamaCare customers, and into the pockets of the biggest insurance companies will run for a while longer, and then the whole corporatist partnership will be declared untenable, to be replaced with pure government control. The Times relays an analysis from insurance ratings agency A.M. Best that found “all but one of the co-ops reported financial losses through third quarter of last year.” It won’t be long now.