Friday, November 11, 2016

November, 2016, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Higher Premiums, Higher Deductibles, and More Taxes

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 have already talked about how major insurance companies (UnitedHealthcare, Humana, others) were dropping out of the Obama Care exchanges since the law is so bad that these companies were losing billions of dollars by offering Obama Care policies. Although Obama claimed that Obama Care would increase competition in the health insurance industry, the exact opposite happened: fewer and fewer companies are part of the Obama Care network of insurers.

Warner Todd Huston, writing for Breitbart on November 2, 2016, told the world that the abandonment of Obama Care is continuing:
  • Anthem, Inc. is now also seriously thinking about dropping out of the Obama Care world.
  • Anthem Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish explained the situation: “If we do not see clear evidence of an improving environment and a path towards sustainability in the marketplace, we will likely modify our strategy in 2018. Clearly, 2017 is a critical year as we continue to assess the long-term viability of our exchange footprint.”
  • If Anthem does drop out of offering Obama Care policies, 889,000 Americans in 14 states will lose their current insurance policies.
  • The reason for Anthem possibly dropping out is quite simple, according to Sweden: “The financial performance in individual ACA compliant products has been disappointing as membership has been short of our original expectations.”
  • Anthem missed its latest earnings estimates as its costs were higher than expected.
Another one bites the Obama Care dust.

2) Obama often claimed that Obama Care would reduce annual health insurance policy costs by up to $2,500 per family. That promise proved to be either a lie or pure ignorance on his part since we have reported often through the years that policy premiums and deductibles have gone up significantly over time, not down by up to $2,500. 

Bob Ryan, writing for the Business Insider website on October 26, 2016, outlined what the ghastly cost increases will be for Obama Care policy holders in 2017:
  • The Obama administration via the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) recently announced that the cost of Obama Care policies will increase by an average of 25% in 2017.
  • HHS based the 25% average increase estimate by looking at the insurance costs in each state for a 27 year old non-smoker purchasing the second lowest cost silver Obama Care policy, about the middle of all Obama Care options.
  • Only two states will see average decreases in Obama Care policies in 2017 (Indiana and Massachusetts).
  • Every other state will see increases (HHS did not provide estimates for seven states).
  • Arizona, (116%), Oklahoma (69%), and Tennessee (63%) will see the greatest increase.
  • Minnesota (59%), Alabama (58%), Pennsylvania (53%), and Nebraska will also see the most whopping increases in 1017, a far cry from seeing up to a $2,500 decrease in their annual premium costs.
Now, supporters of Obama Care, the few that still remain, will point out that 77% of Obama Care policy holders will not absorb the entire increase since they will get increased subsidies to cover some of the increases. But consider three realities:
  • 23% of Obama Care policy holders will have to absorb the entire increase in their insurance costs since they do not qualify for subsidies.
  • While the 77% of those with subsidies will not pay for the entire increases in their policies, those costs do not magically disappear, they are being paid by the American taxpayer via the Federal government, increasing the national debt.
  • Many people stuck with Obama Care policies used to have policies that were much cheaper and focused only on their own, specific health needs but Obama Care required every insurance policy to have features and requirements that many people did not need but which pumped up the cost of their Obama Care replacement policies regardless of what subsidies they may be getting.
Another year, another set of disgusting increase in premium costs of Obama Care policies.

3) Robert Moffit, writing for the Heritage Foundation on November 2, 2016, pointed out some other problems with the implosion that is Obama Care:
  • As we previously discussed, the average increase in the cost of premiums of Obama Care policies will go up a whopping 25% in 2017.
  • But the premiums are not the only problem in 2017, the deductible levels are also skyrocketing.
  • For the lowest cost bronze plan, a single person will face a whopping deductible of $6,000 and a family will face a deductible of $12,393.
  • For a silver plan Obama care policy, a single policyholder will face a deductible of $3,572 while a family will face a deductible of $7,474.
  • Thus, it is false advice when Obama Care supporters say that an American could find a bronze plan Obama Care policy for less than a $100 a month since a single person who went that route, probably because they are in a lower income bracket, would still face a likely insurmountable deductible bar of $6,000 before that policy gave them any benefit.
  • Given how badly Obama Care is performing, the governor of Minnesota (a state that is going to see 50% to 67% increases in Obama Care policy premiums in 2017), Mark Dayton, wants to lay another tax on all Minnesota residents to pay for Obama Care premiums for a minority of Minnesota residents, those that are Obama Care customers, a tax that would come to about $150 per family per year.
  • Hillary Clinton wants to add another subsidy to low income Obama Care policy holders but that plan, according to the liberal the Commonwealth Fund, will add a whopping $90 billion to the national debt just in 2018.
  • This $90 billion comes out to an additional tax load of about $800 per every American household.
More of the same. Increased premiums, increased deductibles and the same old political thinking that never works, just raise taxes. The way to tame ever increasing healthcare costs is to attack the root causes of high healthcare costs listed above. Raising taxes resolves no root causes. More Obama Care disasters tomorrow.

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