Sunday, November 22, 2015

November, 2015, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: More Co-ops Die, Insurance Policy Costs Go Up and More

Every month for years now we have had to discuss how bad Obama Care is turning out to be under the continuing theme, “the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care.” This month is no different. As the legislation continues to march through America, driving up health care and health insurance prices as it serves as dead weight on economic growth, it cements it rightful place as the worst piece of legislation Washington has ever produced.

It never had a chance to be successful since it really never addressed the underlying root causes of our ever increasing health costs in the country:

  • Americans eat too much of the wrong kind of food, resulting in obscenely high obesity rates for the country.
  • Our food chain is infested with overdoses of high fructose corn syrup, salt, and other unhealthy additives.
  • Americans smoke too much.
  • Americans do not exercise enough.
  • The country is in serious need of health care tort reform.
  • Barriers to insurance company competition across state lines need to come down.
  • Obama Care never “followed the money” to find out who is actually profiting from the ever escalating health care costs in this country and how to get those factors under control.
  • Obama Care never got the immense amount of fraud and abuse in current government health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, under control in order to save money to efficiently fund other government health care initiatives.
  • Obama Care never put serious research money towards curing the major diseases that drive high health care costs such as high frequency cancers and dementia type diseases.

You cannot resolve any problem unless you understand and address the underlying root causes. No difference here but with a big exception: Obama Care legislation never addressed these listed root causes and thus, has no chance of ever being successful.

But it is not just missing the root causes of our health care costs that makes Obama Care so horrible. It resulted in millions of Americans losing access to their favored doctors, hospitals, and insurance policies. It has caused deductibles and co-pays to escalate substantially. It will likely add trillions of dollars to the national debt. It has exposed millions of Americans to higher than necessary identity theft chances. It has created government bureaucracies that are wastefully spending taxpayer wealth and being exploited by criminal elements. It has stifled economic growth and job creation.

These are just a sample of the types of idiocy that we have been reviewing for the past several years in this blog relative to Obama Care., To read those past posts, just enter the phrase, “the unfolding disaster,” in the search box above.

For the next several days we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) During last month’s review of Obama Care disasters, we had several discussions on how the 23 health insurance co-ops set up by the legislation were starting it implode and go out of business, leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans without health insurance. In the first two years of Obama Care, all but one of the co-ops lost money.

And as time went on, those financial losses grew until the co-ops went out of business from debt or state insurance commissions shut them down. A month later, the carnage has not abated. According to a recent Washington Examiner article by Robert King, Utah’s Obama Care insurance co-op has been shut down by the Utah insurance regulators. Additional details of the shutdown include the following:

  • The lack of Federal taxpayer funding from the Obama administration was cited as the cause for the shutdown.
  • In total, all of the co-ops asked for $2.9 billion in so-called “risk corridor” funds but received only $356 million, 12% of the total request.
  • This is the tenth Obama Care co-op to go out of business.
So now tens of thousands of Utah co-op customers are soon to be without health care insurance, the exact opposite of what Obama Care was supposed to do. 

2) But wait, it gets worse in the Obama Care co-op world. In another Washington Examiner written shortly after the article about the Utah co-op shutdown, and also written by Robert King, we find out that the Arizona co-op was also going out of business. Details include the following:

  • Both Arizona insurance regulators and Federal officials were involved in the decision to shut it down.
  • This latest co-op shut down brings the total number of Obama Care co-ops to go down is now up to 11, just short of half of the total number began (23).
  • The Arizona co-op got $93 million in Federal taxpayer money to into the health insurance business but has lost more than $78 million in the short time it has existed.
  • As with the Utah co-op, all of the Arizona co-op insurance policy holders, all 50,000 of them, now have to go find other sources of health insurance.
Seems that if you blink another co-op goes belly up.

3) But there is more bad co-op news. According to a recent article on the Young Conservatives website, 83,000 people in Colorado are about to lose their health insurance under Obama Care because that state’s co-op recently announced that it too was going out of business. The Colorado state insurance regulators decertified the co-op as an eligible insurance option when the Federal government announced that it would not pay the full amount of money originally promised to the co-ops.

The same article described how the New York Obama Care co-op is also collapsing into insolvency. In an added twist to this specific collapse, not only is the co-op failing financially but investigations of fraud and criminal activity are underway regarding its funds and operations.

4) A recent Heritage Foundation article by Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu called Obama Care a cancer that needed to be removed from our lives. His reasons for this analogy include the following:

- Declining Enrollment Forecasts -

  • By 2016, Obama Care was supposed to have provided health insurance to 20 million Americans.
  • However, the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid recently announced that the expected number of enrollees after the 2016 enrollment is half of what was promised, about 10 million.
  • Even worse, the mix of Obama Care insurance policyholders is expected to be deficient in young and healthy customers, the kind that pay insurance premiums but are unlikely to need medical and health care service. 
  • The lack of enough healthy and younger customers makes Obama Care insurance companies more likely to raise rates in order to cover the more expensive medical needs of its older, and less well policyholders.
- Rising Costs

  • In the past month or so state insurance regulators have approved all or most of the premium increases filed by the health insurers in their states.
  • These increases are necessary since these insurance companies never attained the number and quality mix of customers they originally expected.
  • Thus, the customers that they did sign up were less healthy and more expensive than they originally forecasted, costing them more than they anticipated.
  • Now they have to dig out of their financial hole by raising rates on those customers.
  • So much for the Obama promise that insurance costs for most American families would decrease up toto $2,500 a year.
- Death of Obama Care co-ops

We have already covered the details of this disastrous piece of Obama Care: all but one of them has been a losing proposition from a financial perspective so far, about half of them have already gone out of business or have announced that they will go out of business shortly, hundreds of thousands of customers from these co-ops now have to go out and find different insurance coverage, and over a billion dollars in taxpayer funding that was used to get these failed co-ops established is unlikely to ever be paid back.

Failed co-ops costing the American taxpayer over a billion dollars and disrupting the lives of thousands and thousands of Americans. Inept and corrupt management of those co-ops. Higher and higher insurance costs every year for Obama Care policies resulting in anemic enrollment numbers vs. the promised number of enrollees by 2016. The unfoldiing disaster that is Obama Care never stops unfolding. More disasters tomorrow.

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