Friday, August 26, 2016

Obamacare in a Death Spiral

As Republicans long ago predicted, Obamacare is doomed to fail and is in a full-scale death spiral now. From ZeroHedge this week:
UnitedHealth has announced plans to exit 31 of the 34 states where it currently offers ACA policies, Aetna is dropping 11 out of 15 states and Humana is reducing it's offerings to just 156 counties down from 1,351 a year ago. Meanwhile, insurers are also hiking premiums by 24%, on average, for the remaining states in 2017 Despite Obama's promise that Obamacare would increase options and lower costs, it is, in practice, doing the exact opposite as Cynthia Cox of the Kaiser Family Foundation points out that "as many as a quarter of all U.S. counties, mainly in rural areas, are at risk of having just a single insurer for next year."
These insurance companies are losing money in a big way as enrollment of healthy people declines leaving only the sickest persons in the pool of insured. Nearly all of the 23 co-ops set up to sell policies have failed or will fail this year. From Daily Caller:
Eight of the 11 remaining Obamacare health insurance co-ops are in serious financial trouble and could collapse by the end of the year, Mandy Cohen, a top federal health official told Congress Thursday in testimony before a House oversight panel.
More failure is certain as premiums for 2017 are set to sky-rocket by 24% nationally, leading to even further declines in enrollment by healthy people. Who could afford it?  Nobody can afford US healthcare costs now, even the US Government.

Healthy people are refusing to sign up, which leads to losses for insurers, which leads to higher rates, which, of course, leads to even fewer healthy people signing up.  This is a death spiral.

Now, there are one or no providers in many counties in many states. The remaining provider, if there is one, is in a "monopoly" position and are now asking for astronomic price increases which will surely lead to outright collapse. The entire law is on the way to collapse. Our entire nation is on the way to collapse.