This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 12, 2016:
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must be proud. The health insurers behind ObamaCare are losing money and some are considering leaving the monstrosity altogether. Many of the co-ops that sprang up during the rollout have closed their doors, despite receiving millions in government aid.
Harry knew exactly what he was going when he built it. In an interview at “Nevada Week in Review” in 2013, before the rollout, Reid said:
What we’ve done with ObamaCare is a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever.
When asked by host Steve Sebelius whether that would mean a health care system without insurance companies being involved, he responded, “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) saw it coming in 2010:
More than two years after the passage of ObamaCare, the data overwhelmingly show the law will fail to achieve its core objectives of lowering costs and improving access.
That, ironically, may have been the design. By making private insurance unaffordable by everyone, it will become available to no one. All that will be left is government-centered, government-run, single-payer health care.
The results for 2015 are in. The losses health insurers experienced following the rollout of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014 got even worse. Seventy percent of insurers lost money on individual health plans, according to McKinsey and Company, the global management consulting firm. And it isn’t likely to improve any in 2016.
On Wednesday Humana Inc. reported that the massive losses on its individual plans reported in 2014 worsened last year and is already booking $176 million in losses for 2016. Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers across the country paid out $20.7 billion in claims in the first three quarters of 2015 but only received $20.4 billion in individual plan premiums. After accounting for operating expenses and overhead costs, the result for the Blues was much worse than the prior year.
Aetna lost money in 2015, as did Anthem Inc.
The insurers, in trying to explain the losses, said they didn’t charge enough in premiums, they underestimated the losses they expected, and they didn’t take into account the “gaming” of the system by customers who waited until they needed coverage before buying it.
What ObamaCare has done is destroy the health insurance industry. Its death is taking place on the installment plan. Picture Fred Consumer who, upon returning home from work one night, discovers that his house is on fire. The first thing Fred does is call his insurance agent to buy fire insurance coverage; and then he calls the fire department.
Kevin Williamson, the author of The End is Near (and it’s Going to be Awesome), explained:
ACA mandates that insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions, meaning events that have already happened, which renders the basic mathematical architecture of insurance – the calculation of risk among large pools of people – pointless.
Insurance ceases to be insurance and instead becomes something else, namely a very badly constructed cost-sharing program.
Every part of ObamaCare is fraudulent, even its title. It doesn’t make health insurance more affordable, but less. It doesn’t deliver health care (only medical service providers do that) but instead stands in the way of customers getting the care they need from those providers.
It’s also built on lies. Here’s Obama:
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor;”
Obamacare will save “the average family $2,500 a year on their premiums;” and
ObamaCare will add “not one dime” to the deficit.
Is there any hope of salvaging America’s health care system now being destroyed by the government? Williamson thinks so:
The fact is that Obamacare has fallen apart without Republicans’ dismantling it. Almost all of its basic promises have failed, it is an economic shambles, and it is a political mess: Unsurprisingly, people still don’t like it.
Less than a third of Americans support the individual mandate, three-fourths oppose Obamacare’s tax on high-end health-care programs, and more voters oppose the law categorically than support it. A quarter of voters say the law has hurt them personally.
If the elections in November go the way Jeff Hirsch’s Stock Trader’s Almanac predicts (a Republican is likely to be elected, thanks to the stock market), and if that Republican keeps his promises (a very big IF) and signs a bill repealing ObamaCare, then what? Will it be replaced by something worse, designed by Democrats and Republican turncoats? Or will the free market be allowed to repair the damage and allow people to deal directly with their health care providers, using insurance the proper way (to cover unexpected future events)?
It’s an open question, one that will be answered very soon.
The Wall Street Journal: Insurers Under Pressure to Improve Margins on Health Plans
National Review: Obamacare Is Dead