I Guess Things Didn’t Go As Planned

ObamaCare is touted as one of the crowning achievements of the Obama Administration. Like some of the other achievements touted, the benefits are somewhat questionable. The two main promises of ObamaCare–if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it, and if you like your doctor, you can keep him–have not really worked out as claimed. Now the claim that ObamaCare has cut the cost of health insurance seems to be in doubt as well.

Forbes Magazine posted an article on Thursday disputing the claims of Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg of the Brookings Institution that health insurance premiums have decreased under ObamaCare. The authors cite a 2014 Brookings study that concluded premiums have increased.

The article reports:

While I will discuss the relevant evidence of the ACA’s effect on premiums in depth, there are three data points worth emphasizing. First, unlike Adler and Ginsburg’s approach, Brookings 2014 study used actual data and found that “enrollment-weighted premiums in the individual health insurance market increased by 24.4 percent beyond what they would have had they simply followed…trends.” Second, S&P Global Institute found that average individual market medical costs increased substantially between 2013 and 2015, up an estimated 69%. Third, 2014 insurer data shows that premiums for individual market Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), ACA-compliant plans certified to be sold on exchanges, were much higher than premiums for individual market non-QHPs, mostly plans in existence before 2014 that did not comply with the ACA. Relative to non-QHPs, insurers collected more than $1,000 per enrollee in higher premiums and more than $2,300 in higher premium revenue per enrollee in 2014 after accounting for large premium subsidy programs for their QHPs.

The article includes the following graph:

PMPM Chart - Mercatus

The data shows a huge increase in PMPM costs in the individual market between 2013 and 2015. According to S&P, PMPM costs increased 38% between 2013 and 2014, and another 23% between 2014 and 2015. The two-year increase (69%) is the product of the two single-year increases.

…It is worth noting that the individual market includes both ACA-compliant plans as well as non-ACA-compliant plans. If only ACA-compliant plans were included in the post-2013 data, the spike would likely be much larger.

I do wonder how much of this will be reported by the mainstream media. The fact that most people will experience this on a personal level means that the public will become aware of it.




How’s That Government Healthcare Working For You?

On Saturday, Forbes Magazine posted a story about the current state of ObamaCare. Basically, the article reports that the government is not very good at running anything and should be discouraged from doing so whenever possible.

The article reports:

The two largest state health insurance co-operatives created as part of a grand ObamaCare experiment have announced they are closing at the end of this year, joining others that have failed and even more that are insolvent and likely to fail.

The Kentucky Health Cooperative announced on Friday it is going out of business and will not enroll new members next year, leaving 51,000 members to find other coverage.  It had the second-largest co-op enrollment in the country, garnering 75% of people who enrolled in coverage through the state’s health exchange.

It joins Health Republic Insurance of New York—the largest health co-op with more than 150,000 members—which announced last month that it was folding.  That follows the declaration of insolvency by CoOportunity Health in Iowa and Nebraska and the failures of the Louisiana Health Cooperative and Nevada Health Co-Op.  A total of 400,000 citizens are being impacted—so far.

Wasn’t ObamaCare the program the newly elected Republicans promised to get rid of if the voters gave them the House and the Senate in 2014? Then the Republicans elected the same leadership and the promise was broken.

It is very obvious that ObamaCare is a bloated government program that is not working very well. It is time for some elected official to develop enough of a backbone to say that it should not be funded. It is time to end the Continuing Resolutions and actually act like men (and women) with principles and pass a budget.

I realize that in defunding ObamaCare, Congress faces a Presidential veto and a government  shutdown. Either one of these events should be laid at the feet of the President. President Obama is a failed President in so many areas, this might be the time to challenge him on another failed policy.

Please follow the link to the Forbes Magazine article to see how badly ObamaCare has failed.

Was This What America Wanted?

Yesterday Investors.com posted an article about the new ObamaCare insurance premiums and the expected enrollment in 2015.

This is a chart from the article:

The article reports:

Just 9 million to 9.9 million people will be enrolled by the end of 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services predicted. That’s far below an earlier Congressional Budget Office projection of 13 million.

Instead of a near-doubling of the exchange population projected by CBO, the White House’s estimate amounts to a 25%-40% increase vs. the newly disclosed 7.1 million tally as of October.

It is becoming very obvious that ObamaCare is not working out the way the American people were promised it would work.

Meanwhile, sometime next summer we can expect the Supreme Court to rule on whether of not the federal government is allowed to pay the subsidies needed to make ObamaCare work.

The article concludes:

Excluding subsidies, the lowest-cost bronze plan will rise 3%, and the cheapest silver plan will go up 4%, on average.

The after-subsidy premium cost increase of the cheapest bronze and silver plans has to do with how the subsidies are calculated. As income rises, even just to match inflation, the amount paid in premiums before subsidies kick in goes up.

Further, individuals will pay more for the cheapest plans, after subsidies, if the second-lowest-cost silver plan premium increases less — or falls more — than premiums for the lowest-cost silver and bronze plans.

In 11 of the 34 cities, the subsidized lowest-cost bronze premium will rise by double digits, but the subsidized rate will be flat or negative in nine of the cities.

So, in addition to not being able to keep your doctor or your health insurance plan if you like them, you will be paying more for what you do have under ObamaCare.

Are We Rapidly Losing The Constitution?

On Saturday Forbes Magazine posted an article titled, “Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss.”

Because of what has happened with Americans having their health insurance cancelled and not being able to enroll in ObamaCare because of website screw-ups and other glitches, the Obama Administration is attempted to force health insurance companies to hand out free health care—at a loss—to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured.

The article reports:

On Wednesday afternoon, health policy reporters found in their inboxes a friendly e-mail from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announcing “steps to ensure Americans signing up through the Marketplace have coverage and access to the care they need on January 1.” Basically, the “steps” involve muscling insurers to provide free or discounted care to those who have become uninsured because of the problems with healthcare.gov.

…“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.”

What we have here is an out-of-control administration that learned politics in Chicago. Until someone in Congress or the private sector has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to this thuggery, it will continue. Meanwhile, ObamaCare gets a little worse every day.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Boston Business Journal posted an article today about one aspect of bringing ObamaCare to Massachusetts.

The article reports:

More than 200,000 in Massachusetts could actually lose health care coverage in the switch to ObamaCare next year. To prevent that, state officials are pulling out all the stops to make sure members of state-subsidized health plans, established under Massachusetts’ own health care reform, don’t lose coverage in the shift.

In order to prevent those state residents from losing their health care coverage, the state is launching a heavy-duty public education campaign, including 230,000 outgoing phone calls urging those currently covered under Massachusetts health care plans to switch to ObamaCare. The new ObamaCare plans are called ConnectorCare plans

The article further reports:

The price tag for all those phone calls – just one part of the outreach effort – is $4.4 million, which will be paid to vendor Dell Services, the services arm of Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL). But there are strings attached. The contract includes penalties for not converting the majority of eligible Commonwealth Care members by Jan. 1, 2014. There will also be a per-member penalty if Dell fails to reach benchmarks by the end of the open enrollment period on March 31, 2014.

It says something about the appeal of ObamaCare that Massachusetts has to pay $4.4 million to get people to enroll in it.

Enhanced by Zemanta