Sunday, May 28, 2017

May, 2017, Part 1, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care: Small Businesses Want It Repealed, Competition Continues To Disappear, and Gruber Insanely Blames Trump

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, sugar, 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 copays 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.

1) We have often discussed the reality that many small businesses have been crushed by Obama Care’s requirements and regulations. It has caused their costs to increase, they have had to reduce staff or change staff from permanent to temporary ino order to survive, their taxes have gone up, or they just went out of business because of the regulations. 

Thus, it is not a surprise that in a recent poll, 60% of small business owners said they want Obama Care repealed:
  • According to Philip Hodges, writing for the Eagle Rising website, a February survey of 700 small business owners found that 60% of them wanted Obama Care repealed.
  • The primary reason given for their position is skyrocketing insurance premiums that was caused by a lack of competition in the Obama Care insurance market as large and smaller insurers fled the Obama Care market, unable to make a profit in that market.
  • Quoting a CNBC article: “It is a trend affecting business owners in all states. Ross Coulter, 49, and his wife, who run a two-person public relations firm in Dallas, have been hunting for a new health insurance plan after Humana notified them it was discontinuing their current one. They had no immediate plans to slow their search after the House vote. They are looking for an affordable replacement by July 1 for the high-deductible plan, for which premiums are $900 a month for the couple and their three children. The only plans that are comparable would be a $400- or $500-a-month increase,” says Coulter, who is now considering options like a Medi-Share plan, run by Christian Care Ministry, in conjunction with a cancer-coverage policy.
  • CNBC went on to report on a situation that we have covered many times before, namely that Obama Care policies are so expensive that customers buy the high deductible plans to reduce their monthly premium payments but then cannot afford the deductible payments when they need the insurance because the deductibles are so high: “When Paula Muto, a vascular and general surgeon in Lawrence and North Hanover, Massachusetts, looked into unpaid bills in her solo private practice recently, she found that many were for patients who had high-deductible plans. It was the people with insurance, that couldn’t pay the deductibles, that weren’t paying us,” she says.”
The unfolding disaster that is Obama Care continues to unfold disasters.

2) One of the people most associated with the disaster known as Obama Care is one of the so-called architects of the plan, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. Obviously, as an architect of such a disaster, it is not unexpected that he would name others of the failures of this wretched piece of legislation.

But at some point, you can stretch that blame game too far in who you blame for the failures as Gruber recently did when he blamed, of all people, Donald Trump for the failures of the law. Let’s keep in mind that Gruber’s work and the passage of Obama Care was over seven YEARS ago, much before Trump became President less than five MONTHS ago.

Come on Professor Gruber, insurance companies were fleeing the Obama Care policy market long before Trump became President. Enrollment numbers were falling 50% short of your promises long before Trump became President. Premiums and deductibles of Obama Care policies were skyrocketing long before Trump became President. Obama Care state co-ops were failing long before Trump became President. The law was already in place long before Trump became President and he has made no changes to that law since becoming President.

Wow, you know you are desperate to place blame and deflect attacks on your reputation when you are blaming someone retroactively seven years. Pathetic. Not not unexpected when you consider that Gruber considered Americans too stupid to understand the law he helped create: “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,” Gruber stated during one health care conference.

Another time, Gruber self-admitted that the Obama administration pushed through the so-called Cadillac tax, a tax on certain premium health care plans, “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we know it’s a tax on people who hold these insurance plans.”

Surprised that he did not blame Trump for the American voter being stupid.

3) According to a recent Associated Press article, the carnage of health insurers leaving the Obama Care market is continuing:
  • After pulling out of several states previously, after losing $450 million on Obama Care policies, giant insurer Aetna announced that it will also pull out of Nebraska and Delaware next year after expecting to lose $200 million on Obama Care policies this year.
  • This will further increase the number of counties across the country that have only one Obama Care insurer operating in that county in 2018.
  • With access to only one Obama Care insurance company available, insurance industry experts expect the costs of those Obama Care policies to increase due to lack of competition.
  • Things continue to get bad in Iowa with Aetna and Wellmark Blue Cross leaving the state and another Iowa insurer, Medica saying that its "ability to stay in the Iowa insurance market in any capacity is in question at this point."
  • When Humana pulled out of Tennessee, it left 16 Tennessee counties with NO Obama Care insurance options, a void that has since been filled by only one other company.
  • Blue Cross-Blue Shield is now the only Obama Care insurer in one third of the country’s 3,100 counties.
So much for the Gruber and Obama promise that Obama Care would result in a robust competitive environment that would drive down the cost of insurance for all Americans.

The disasters continue to unfold: lack of competition, disasters for small businesses, and the blaming of Donald Trump for something he had absolutely nothing to do with. More disasters to follow shortly.

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