Obamacare Insurance Markets on Verge of Collapse

Obamacare sign is seen on the UniVista Insurance company office on December 15, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Citing the financial unsustainability of Obamacare, both the insured and insurers are fleeing Obamacare in increasing numbers, leaving President Obama’s takeover of the nation’s healthcare system on the verge of collapse.

The administration has claimed Obamacare — officially designated the Affordable Care Act — to be a great success, insisting that 20 million previously uninsured Americans now have insurance. But according to a report at The Guardian, that “success” comes at the expense of all the features that were supposed to make the law sustainable.

President Obama and his cohorts imagined that since Obamacare was to be compulsory, millions of healthy young Americans would immediately sign up, and the massive influx of cash paid into the system as insurance premiums would help pay for the higher costs in care doled out to older, sicker enrollees.

Unfortunately for supporters of Obamacare, millions of young people simply ignored the law, deciding, instead, to pay the tax penalties to the IRS for not having insurance because it was both easier to do and cheaper in the long run. Consequently, the largest number of new enrollees are people whose illnesses are costing the insurance companies more to pay out for their care than they are paying into the system in premiums. The result is more money going out for care than coming in, a situation impossible to sustain for long.

The latter is why so many insurance carriers are dropping out of Obamacare. They are being outspent and cannot sustain the costs and remain profitable at the same time. And this, in turn, is setting the whole Obamacare system toward collapse.

As the outlet reports:

In April, UnitedHealthcare left most of the 34 state marketplaces it participated in. And in August, Aetna scaled back its participation in the markets because of losses, and also because of the [J]ustice [D]epartment’s attempt to block it from merging with another health insurance giant, Humana.

Worse, insurance premiums have risen time and again since the inception of Obamacare only a few short years ago, and those rises are set to continue pricing many policies hundreds of dollars a month past the wooly claims of cheap healthcare plans Obama made when he was pushing the law.

In addition, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study on Obamacare was released that was such bad news for Obamacare it brought the Trump campaign to call it “another extraordinary indictment of Obamacare.”

Echoing The Guardian’s report, the Foundation’s study reported that “the number of counties with a single marketplace insurer is likely to increase, from 225 (7% of counties) in 2016 to 974 (31% of counties) in 2017.”

The report reveals another of the principal failures of a feature that was supposed to have made Obamacare sustainable — that of competition between insurers. We are now finding that this competition is non-existent in large swaths of the country.

“The news that Americans living in more than 6 in 10 counties next year will only have one or at most two healthcare options under Obamacare is another extraordinary indictment of this law and Hillary Clinton’s disastrously poor judgment,” national policy adviser to Donald Trump Stephen Miller said in a statement.

Miller added:

Every policy she touches only produces more calamity. In this case, it means higher prices, fewer choices, and less control over one’s most private medical decisions. Yet Hillary Clinton thinks struggling Americans still have it too good. She wants to give the government more control over the entire healthcare system — taking away even more choices from American moms, dads and children. This is yet another crossroads in this election: America must repeal and replace this disastrous law or live under total government control.

The Kaiser Family Foundation study is only added to reports that Obamacare rates are soaring, and 16 of the 23 state exchanges established by the law have failed.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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