The Current State Of ObamaCare

Today’s Wall Street Journal included an article about the current state of ObamaCare. The article mentioned that Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell recently announced that by the end of next year she expects 10 million people to be enrolled in ObamaCare. She failed to mention that in March 2014 the Congressional Budget Office predicted that 21 million people would be enrolled in 2016. The Obama Administration explains the difference as the result of fewer companies dropping employee heath insurance than expected.

There are some facts left out of the statistics quoted by ObamaCare supporters. Supporters claim that ObamaCare helped 9 million Americans get health insurance coverage in 2014. The Heritage Foundation showed that nearly 9 million people were added to Medicaid. The 9 million were given free or nearly free health insurance. That’s really not much of a sales accomplishment.

The article reminds us:

In other words, ObamaCare expanded coverage in 2014 to the extent that it gave people free or nearly free insurance. That goal could have been accomplished without the Affordable Care Act. To justify its existence, ObamaCare must make affordable private insurance available to a broad cross-section of uninsured Americans who are ineligible for Medicaid.

But with fewer people buying insurance through the exchanges, the economics aren’t holding up. Ten of the 23 innovative health-insurance plans known as co-ops—established with $2.4 billion in ObamaCare loans—will be out of business by the end of 2015 because of weak balance sheets.

The article is written by Andy Puzder, Chief Executive Officer of CKE Restaurants. He observes that of his company’s 5,453 employees who were not eligible for company health insurance, only 420 enrolled in ObamaCare. The problem with ObamaCare is that it expects healthy young people to pay higher premiums to cover the cost of the older, less healthy, insured. Young people are not inclined to do that and are instead paying the penalty for not being insured. The problem with that is that the penalties are paid to the government and not to the insurance companies and do nothing to help with the imbalance on what is paid in and what is paid out. Insurance companies charge premiums based on actuary tables, and ObamaCare has chosen to ignore the basis of the business model of insurance companies. In essence, they have attempted to reinvent the wheel while leaving out the spokes and the hub. The private sector always does better than the government when it comes to business models.

The article concludes:

How have things changed under ObamaCare? Wealthy Americans continue to have health insurance, albeit at a higher price. But they can afford it. Many middle-class Americans are paying higher premiums they can hardly afford. And then millions more low-income Americans have heavily subsidized insurance or Medicaid coverage.

However, millions of other Americans who enjoyed good individual insurance before ObamaCare have found themselves forced out of affordable plans, with their new premiums rising rapidly. Other middle- and working-class Americans who were uninsured are still uninsured and paying the penalty or claiming an exemption. That isn’t affordable care. In many cases, it isn’t care at all.

Hopefully, we will elect a President next year who will rid us of this horrendous program.