Friday, April 29, 2016

April, 2016, Bonus Post, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: More Failing Numbers and ....A Retro Look Back to One of The Smug Fools That Developed The Whole Mess In the First Place

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 its 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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: 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 healthcare 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 insurance premiums, 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.

We thought that we were done with yesterday’s post regarding the “unfolding disaster that Is Obama Care,” but true to form, just when we think we are through the current month’s disasters, a few more worthy discussion points and disasters pop up, which leads us to the following:

1) One more source of failing Obama Care data today. Some of this information we have already referenced over the past week but the following list from Michael F. Cannon’s article, “5 Things ACA Supporters Don’t Want You To Know About UnitedHealth’s Withdrawal From ObamaCare,” writing for the Cato Institute April 22, 2016, kind of neatly sums everything up:
  • Unitedhealthcare,the country’s largest health insurance provider, is getting out of most of the 34 states where it sells Obama Care insurance policies in 2017 because it cannot make money in those states.
  • The company lost $650 million on those policies in 2015.
  • A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation stated that if the company leaves the state of Oklahoma, only one company will be left selling Obama Care policies in that state.
  • If the company gets out of every one of those 34 states, not just most of them, the share of counties across the country with only one or two Obama Care insurers will jump from 36% to 52% and the share of Obama Care policy enrollees with only one or two carriers will double from 15% to just under 30%.
  • If those former Unitedhealthcare customers go to other Obama Care carriers, you can probably expect those health insurance companies to see their financial results to also go south since they will be serving the same Unitedhealthcare customers that Unitedhealthcare could not make a profit on.
  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose member companies are the biggest health insurers in the Obama Care world, reported that Obama Care policy holders are 22% more costly than the customers they serve that have employer based insurance coverage.
  • Mr. Cannon points out another negative wrinkle within the whole Unitedhealthcare situation: “Unitedhealth generally didn’t have the lowest-cost premiums in the Exchanges. The fact that it still lost money provides further evidence of significant adverse selection. It suggests high cost patients are shopping for the most comprehensive benefits, regardless of premium; that Unitedhealth offered coverage that was attractive to the sick; and the company thus attracted a particularly costly group of enrollees.”
  • Unitedhealthcare also assumed that its current enrollment will drop 18% over the course of this year, with a lot of the reduction driven by current customers that cannot afford their policies despite Obama promising that annmual family health insurance costs would go down by upwards of $2,500.
  • A McKinsey analysis recently found that despite getting subsidized by the Federal government’s reinsurance program, 70% of Obama Care insurance companies were still losing money on those policies and the average profit margin of all Obama Care insurance companies was negative in 41 states.
  • Obama Care insurance costs will continue to rise in 2017 because of how bad it program it is and because those sicker and less healthy Unitedhealthcare customers, the ones that cost that company to lose so much money, will seek out other Obama Care carriers and by law, those carriers must accept these higher cost customers.
  • Given this rising premium and sicker than expected customer scenario, the author predicts that more companies will leave the program if they are not allowed to substantially raise their insurance policy costs in 2017.
As the cost of insurance goes up under Obama Care, less people will purchase insurance, leaving the Obama Care insurance carriers with only the sickest and most costly patients which will cause them to raise rates or get out of the Obama Care market which will reduce competition which will drive up costs, which will dry up customers = death spiral.

Just about any human endeavor that finds itself in a death spiral never gets out of it until that death spiral collpases into failure. That is what we are witnessing today as the Obama Care logic, structure, and realities begin their relentless trend downward.

2) Okay, last disaster review for this month, I promise. Let’s go up a few years to find out how this whole fiasco was spawned. The following paragraph contains the words of one of the academic geniuses [sarcasm] that helped to build the Obama Care legislation, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, and how it was derived and developed to confuse, divert, and sneak through the legislation, in the process assuming that Americans are too stupid to understand how we were about to get screwed by the worst piece of Washington legislation ever passed. 

I have copied some of his words below with my emphasis on how little he respected our intelligence and brains and have also included a link to the original videotape so that you can hear the contempt that this professor has for you and the rest of us: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not."

“The stupidity of the American voter.” Given the epic failure of Obama Care, who is stupid today, those that pointed out how much this law sucked years ago or those that were so smug, so condescending that they viewed themselves too smart for their own good and that their work on Obama Care will be long known as an unmitigated disaster?

And you can bet that we will be back next month with more disasters, regardless of what an MIT professor claims in the above video.

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