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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

‘Grim’ Obamacare Forecast

Time to Pull the Plug on ObamaCare
Before It Drags Us All Down the Drain
For Consumers, ‘Less Choice,’ ‘Double-Digit Premium Increases’

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), Chairman, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: “Next year Tennesseans will be paying an intolerable increase – on average, between 44 and 62 percent more for their Obamacare plans than they paid last year. . . According to the consulting firm Avalere Health, Americans buying insurance in one third of Obamacare exchange regions next year may have only one insurer to choose from.” (Sen. Alexander, Weekly GOP Address, 8/27/2016)
  • ALEXANDER: “Before Obamacare ever became law, Republicans warned President Obama and Democrats in Congress that this would happen. In February of 2010, I spoke for Republicans at a White House summit on health care and warned President Obama that premiums for millions of Americans with individual insurance would rise under his proposal.” (Sen. Alexander, Weekly GOP Address, 8/27/2016)

‘President Obama’s Health Care Law Is Struggling … Double-Digit Premium Increases And Exits By Big-Name Insurers’

“With the hourglass running out for his administration, President Obama’s health care law is struggling in many parts of the country. Double-digit premium increases and exits by big-name insurers have caused some to wonder whether ‘Obamacare’ will go down as a failed experiment.” (“As Obama’s Term Wanes, Obamacare Needs Checkup,” The Associated Press, 8/28/2016)
  • “Next year’s health insurance sign-up season starts a week before the Nov. 8 election, and the previews have been brutal. Premiums are expected to go up sharply in many insurance marketplaces . . . At the same time, retrenchment by insurers that have lost hundreds of millions of dollars means that more areas will become one-insurer markets, losing the benefits of competition.” (“As Obama’s Term Wanes, Obamacare Needs Checkup,” The Associated Press, 8/28/2016)
“Enrollment in the insurance exchanges for President Obama’s signature health-care law is at less than half the initial forecast, pushing several major insurance companies to stop offering health plans in certain markets because of significant financial losses. As a result, the administration’s promise of a menu of health-plan choices has been replaced by a grim, though preliminary, forecast: Next year, more than 1 in 4 counties are at risk of having a single insurer on its exchange, said Cynthia Cox, who studies health reform for the Kaiser Family Foundation.” (“Health-Care Exchange Sign-Ups Fall Far Short Of Forecasts,” The Washington Post, 8/27/2016)

‘Next Year Will Bring … The Biggest Decrease’ In Insurer Participation Since Obamacare Began

“Next year will bring ‘a major shift in insurer participation,’ the biggest decrease since the start of the exchanges in 2014, said Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the Kaiser foundation.” (“Health Insurers’ Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2016)

“Nearly a third of the nation’s counties look likely to have just a single insurer offering health plans on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges next year, according to a new analysis, an industry pullback that adds to the challenges facing the law. The new study, by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, suggests there could be just one option for coverage in 31% of counties in 2017, and there might be only two in another 31%. That would give exchange customers in large swaths of the U.S. far less choice than they had this year, when 7% of counties had one insurer and 29% had two.” (“Health Insurers’ Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2016)
“Up to 2.1 million people will likely have to change plans for 2017 due to insurers leaving states' Affordable Care Act marketplaces, up from more than 1.2 million who had to find new insurers last year.” (“As Obamacare Choices Dwindle, Feds Face Consumer, Political Backlash,” USA Today, 8/29/2016)
Americans Struggle With Fewer Choices And Higher Costs

Kentucky Single Mother: “In Kentucky, consumers are adjusting to the looming departure of Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, which will not offer plans on the exchange next year. Sarah Halfacre, 35, an occupational therapist and single mom of two young children, is worried that after struggling to find the right United Healthcare plan and working out an arrangement with her student loan lender so she could afford the $340 premium, her only choices may cost even more.” (“As Obamacare Choices Dwindle, Feds Face Consumer, Political Backlash,” USA Today, 8/29/2016)

North Carolina Woman: “Margaret Brawner of Charlotte, a pet sitter who does some contract work, says the rates were already too high. She's paying the tax penalty and out-of-pocket for doctor visits rather than the ‘unaffordable premium and ridiculously high deductible’ she faced in 2015 of $900 a month with a $5,000 annual deductible for a Blue Cross Blue Shield silver plan.” (“As Obamacare Choices Dwindle, Feds Face Consumer, Political Backlash,” USA Today, 8/29/2016)

Arizona Construction Worker: “Joseph Devoy, a 31-year-old construction worker who lives in Arizona’s Pinal County, said he had to switch insurers to UnitedHealth this year after his previous provider, the co-op Meritus, stopped selling plans. Now, with UnitedHealth leaving Arizona, Mr. Devoy, who has to buy coverage through the ACA marketplace to qualify for a federal subsidy, isn’t sure if any insurer will be offering a plan he can buy for next year. Without one, he fears he could face a penalty under the law. ‘I don’t know what to do now,’ Mr. Devoy said. Even if an insurer does come into Pinal, “at that point, it’s a monopoly.” (“Health Insurers’ Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/28/2016)

Illinois Woman: “Chicago resident Eva Saur, 32, is exactly the kind of healthy person insurers would like to have on their rolls. Saur hasn’t had coverage in nearly a decade, but she takes good care of her health. . . Saur’s tax penalty for being uninsured was a bit more than $600 last year, while the cheapest health plan she examined cost about as much for three months in premiums — and came with a $7,000 deductible.” (“Health-Care Exchange Sign-Ups Fall Far Short Of Forecasts,” The Washington Post, 8/27/2016)

FLASHBACK: REID: ‘What We Will Do Is Ensure Consumers Have More Choices’

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “[W]e are bringing security and stability to millions who have health insurance ... What we will do is ensure consumers have more choices and insurance companies face more competition.” (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S. 13891, 12/24/2009)

Tags: Grim, Obamacare Forecast, Consumers, Less Choice, Double-Digit Premium Increases To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:00 PM - Post Link

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