Friday, October 21, 2016

October, 2016, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care ; Disasters In Tennessee, Minnesota, and Everywhere Else

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) One of the biggest threats to Obama Care is that some major, and some minor, insurance companies are dropping their Obama Care customers because they cannot make any money off of those policies which requires them to raise the rates of those policies which results in fewer customers which makes the financials worse and the death spiral drones on. Ali Meyers, writing for the Washington Free Beacon on September 26, 2016, reported on the latest drop outs:
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield announced that it will stop selling Obama Care policies in Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville, Tennessee in 2017.
  • The reasons for this termination is quite simple: they have lost half a billion dollars on those policies already.
  • According to a company spokesperson: “We have tried to make the Affordable Care Act marketplace model work for Tennessee, but we believe there are too many uncertainties to continue participating on a statewide level as we have before. Blue Cross committed early to the ACA marketplace and has been the only health insurer to offer coverage options in every region in the state since 2014. And we have experienced losses approaching $500 million over the course of three years on ACA plans, which is unsustainable.”
  • The termination means that another 100,000 Americans will lose their Obama Care coverage and will have to seek alternative policies.
  • The article goes on to remind its readers that Aetna announced in August that it will drop Obama Care coverage in 11 of the 15 states that it was present in.
Another day, another 100,000 Americans scrambling for health insurance coverage due to the idiocy of Obama Care.

2) But the extremely bad news of rising Obama Care insurance policy costs is not confined to Tennessee. According to Jennifer Fallon, writing for the Lifezette website on September 30, 2016:
  • Industry experts expect the cost of the second lowest silver plan, the most popular Obama Care policy tier, will rise an average of 9% in 2017, about four times faster than the overall rate of inflation.
  • In Nashville, Tennessee, that same tier will see an average increase of 27% in 2017.
  • While Federal taxpayer subsidies will offset some of these price increases, owners of the referenced silver plan will still see a 4% increase in 2017, double the rate of inflation and sticking taxpayers with the remaining increase: “The impact that taxpayers are going to feel may be very expensive,” said Michi Iljazi of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. “Obviously the cost for consumers is going up, but as the cost of health care rises due to the limited amount of options for consumers, that in turn costs taxpayers. There is also the possibility that taxpayers will be left paying for potential losses and bailouts of insurance companies. It’s up to Congress to make sure that kind of bailout doesn’t happen.”
  • Iljazi went on to explain how the number of failed Obama Care co-ops is now up to 17 out of 23, calling this effort under Obama Care a disaster.
  • These higher prices will occur in the context of fewer insurance policy choices as major companies withdrawal from the Obama Care market.
  • For example, UnitedHealthcare quit the Obama Care market after incurring a billion dollars in losses from Obama Care policies.
  • With the company withdrawals coming quickly, more than a third of the country will be left with very few Obama Care insurance options in 2017.
  • In fact, seven states will likely have only one carrier in 2017: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming, negating the Obama promise/lie that his namesake legislation would spur competition.
  • Pina County in Arizona is already down to zero options, no ObamaCare insurance carriers available to service that county’s 400,000 residents.
With so many companies pulling out of the Obama Care world, thousands and thousands of former Obama Care customers will need to go through the stress of finding new insurance coverage that is almost certainly going to include losing access to their current doctors and hospitals, an additional source of stress.

Higher costs, less choice, additional stress, seems you could have not designed a more thorough failure if you tried.

3) If Tennessee is in dire straits relative to Obama Care, consider an October 6, 2016 Associated Press article on how bad Obama Care policy holders are faring in Minnesota:
  • Minnesota will allow Obama Care health insurance companies to raise their premium rates by at least 50% in 2017.
  • The highest increase will be 67%.
  • These 2017 increases follow up the 2015 increases that ranged from 14% to 49%.
  • About 250,000 Minnesota residents are affected by these whopping increases.
  • The state’s commerce commissioner said that the Minnesota individual insurance market is on “the brink of collapse:" “It’s in an emergency situation -- we worked hard and avoided a collapse. It’s a stopgap for 2017.”
  • To make matters worse, the article states that the remaining insurers in Minnesota’s individual Obama Care insurance market are planning to limit enrollment to their policies in 2017 to avoid taking on the high cost customers that were left without policies when Blue Cross and Blue Shield pulled out of the state’s Obama Care market.
  • Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, tried to spin this bad news by stating Minnesotans would still have affordable policies for coverage next year. “Headline rate changes do not reflect what these consumers actually pay because tax credits reduce the cost of coverage below the sticker price.” 
  • Gold failed to mention that while Minnesota residents will not have to pay for the entire premium increases, due to increased taxpayer subsidies, those policyholders will be paying a lot more and the remaining increases will be picked up by the American taxpayer, further increasing the national debt burden that Obama Care is making far worse than promised.
  • He also failed to mention that 37% of those Minnesota Obama Care customers receive no subsidies so they will have to pay for the entire increase.
More national debt, less choice, more costs, another state, another set of failures. More disasters tomorrow.

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