Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September, 2016, Part 2, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: An Arizona County Goes Dry, Most Americans Down On Obama Care 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 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.

This week we will be reviewing the latest unfolding disasters from the worst piece of legislation ever written by Washington:

1) We briefly spoke yesterday on how Pinal County in Arizona now has no Obama Care insurance coverage and options for residents of that county. None. Obama Care, which was supposed to increase competition for healthcare insurance which would drive down health insurance rates, somehow did the exact opposite: it drove all competition out of the county. Unbelievable. 

A recent article on the Freedom Post website by Tim Brown on August 24, 2016 had more information on this situation:

  • Pinal County became the first U.S.county to have no Obama Care insurers willing to compete in the county once Aetna announced that it was withdrawing from the Obama Care market in all but four states.
  • This will force about 9,700 Pinal County residents, about 2% of the entire population, to scramble for new insurance by the end of the year.
  • This follows the exits of UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield from the county earlier.
  • All these exits from the Obama Care program will force tens of thousands of Arizona residents to seek out other health insurance coverage by next year.
  • Other rural counties in Arizona are already down to only one Obama Care option in their county.
It should be interesting to see if this condition starts popping up around the country like a virus and other rural counties start experiencing the lack of any ObamaCare insurance providers in their county. This is likely if you believe work done by Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation. 

Mr. Haislmaier’s research has found that insurance company participation, 395 insurance companies, is already down 27% since the law went into effect. By 2016, number of Obama Care insurers was down to 287 and he expects another 45 companies will get out by 2017. This would represent a total reduction of almost 40%.

You cannot say that you are promoting competition when 40% of your competitors dropout of the market,not because they are not efficient, but because ObamaCare’s tenets give them no way to be profitable.

2) A public opinion poll from the American Action Forum that was discussed on the Convention of States website on August 16, 2016 shows that many, many Americans are fed up with Obama Care and what it is doing to themselves,their families, and the country:

  • Fifty seven percent of those surveyed said they had more trust in private healthcare than the Federal government healthcare while only 26% said they trusted the government more than the private sector when it comes to healthcare.
  • Forty nine percent said private insurance companies are better than the Federal government in providing health care for serious conditions like cancer and HIV while only 34% said the government would do a better job.
  • Forty eight percent said private insurance companies could provide the most affordable healthcare while only 39% said the government could provide the most affordable healthcare.
It is clear that most Americans are aware of and do not want the government’s incompetence intruding in their healthcare, with Obama Care likely being a big factor in their disgust with the Federal government’s performance in the healthcare sector.

3) Betsy McCaughey, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research,recently wrote an article for the New York Post where did a very nice job of laying out what is wrong with Obama Care and where the disaster is today:

  • She thinks Aetna is just the latest insurance company to get out of the Obama Care market and that other major insurers will follow.
  • In the state of New York, MetroPlus,Care Connect,and Affinity are all increasing their Obama Care rates over 20% in 2017 and those rates are low compared to some to the rate hikes in other parts of the country.
  • Those Americans who are earning too much to get a subsidy could see themselves ow paying upwards of 20% of their household income just for health insurance under Obama Care.
  • As we have previously discussed, the insurance companies will no longer get government sponsored subsidies starting in 2017, subsidies which masked the true unprofitability of Obama Care policies for years.
  • Despite these subsidies to the insurance companies, many of them lost hundreds of millions of dollars on Obama Care policies so it is not a surprise that many are getting out of the business once the subsidies go away.
  • Twenty two million Americans were forecasted to be enrolled in Obama Care policies by the end of 2016 while only half of the target was attained, about 11 million.
  • And many of those 11 million that have Obama Care policies were people that had to switch to an Obama Care policy because the legislation made their current policies illegal so the 11 million people are no incremental increases to the rolls of the insured in this country, it was just churn from a current policy to a new Obama Care policy. 
  • McCaughey points out where the Obama Care logic fell apart: “Young healthy people decided that the Washington-knows-best benefit package, chock-full of features they didn’t need, was a rip-off. Who wants to pay for pediatric dental coverage when you’re 30 and single? Mostly older, sicker people tended to sign up, causing insurers to incur big losses — some $3 billion a year.”
  • The subsidies that taxpayers are paying to the lower income Obama Care policy holders, as stipulated by the legislation, are already 50% higher than what Obama promised when the law was passed, adding tremendously to the naitonaldebt and blowing the validity of the law’s business case and financials out of the water.
  • In many states, it is now more economically feasible for people to pay the Obama Care penalty for not having insurance and then go out and buy temporary, bargain insurance that limit what you may be able collect if you get sick but are at least affordable. This undercuts the whole Obama Care strategy of forcing younger, healthier people to subsidy older, less healthy people.
The wheels are coming off, the death spiral has begun. Americans are looking for cheaper insurance which undercuts the financials of the insurance companies which causes them to raise rates which causes more healthy people to get out of their Obama Care policies which causes them to raise rates……..

4) Jack Heretik, writing for the Washington Free Beacon on September, 8., 2016, ahd the depressing results of another Gallup survey relative to Obama Care:

  • Over half (51%) of those surveyed disapprove of Obama Care.
  • Forty four percent approve of the law.
  • Twenty nine percent stated that Obama Care has hurt them and their families.
  • This is an increase of 3% since May and represents the highest level since Gallup started polling for this question.
  • The trend for Obama Care is not good since last November 49% disapproved of the law and 47% approved of the law.
Insurance companies bailout of the law and Americans having bad feelings and high levels of disapproval of the law, all characteristics of a death spiral. More unfolding disasters tomorrow.

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