How Obamacare Is Destroying Healthcare Access by Daniel J. Mitchell, Foundation For Economic Education
It’s tragic that millions of people are suffering
The ongoing cluster-you-know-what of Obamacare is a source of unhappy satisfaction.
Part of me is glad the law is such a failure, but it’s tragic that millions of people are suffering adverse consequences. These are folks who did nothing wrong, but now are paying more, losing employment, suffering income losses, and/or being forced to find new plans and new doctors.
And it seems we get more bad news every day, as noted in a new editorial from Investor’s Business Daily.
ObamaCare rates will skyrocket next year, according to its former chief. Enrollment is tumbling this year. And a big insurer is quitting most exchanges. That’s what we learned in just the past few days.
Why do we know these three bad things are happening? Because that’s what we’re being told by Mary Tavenner, the former head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the Obama administration, who has now cashed out and is pimping for the health insurance companies that got in bed with the White House to foist Obamacare on the American people.
IBD gives us the sordid details.
Why will 2017 rates spike even higher? In addition to the cost of complying with ObamaCare’s insurance regulations and mandates, there’s the fact that the ObamaCare exchanges have failed to attract enough young and healthy people needed to keep premiums down. Plus, two industry bailout programs expire this year, Tavenner notes.
Oh, and she admits that people are gaming ObamaCare just like critics said they would: buying coverage after they get sick — since insurance companies can no longer turn them down or charge them more — then dropping it when they’re done with treatments. “That churn increases premiums. So you have to kind of price over that.”
And that’s just one slice of bad news.
ObamaCare enrollment has already dropped an average of more than 14% in five states since February — a faster rate of decline than last year — as people get kicked off for not paying premiums. Finally, we learned on Tuesday that UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is planning to drop out of almost every ObamaCare market it currently serves after losing $1 billion on those policies. …
Skyrocketing premiums, fewer choices in the marketplace, and people fleeing ObamaCare in droves after signing up. This isn’t exactly what Obama promised when he signed ObamaCare into law.
For those who were paying attention, none of this is a surprise. It was always a fantasy to think that more government intervention was going to improve a health care system that already was cumbersome and expensive because of previous government interventions.
By the way, IBD isn’t the only outlet to notice the ongoing disaster of Obamacare.
Let’s look at some other recent revelations.
Chris Jacobs writes, “For millions of Americans, the Left’s insurance utopia has rapidly deteriorated into a bleak dystopia,” while “the ‘cheaper prices’ that the president promised evaporated as quickly as the morning dew.”
John Graham explains that “CBO estimates Obamacare will leave 27 million uninsured through 2019 – an increase of almost one quarter” and that “CBO estimates 68 million will be dependent on the [Medicaid] program this year through 2019 – an increase of almost one third in the welfare caseload.”
Betsy McCaughey opines, “Obamacare is already hugely in the red. … Over the next ten years Obamacare will add $1.4 trillion to the nation’s debt,” and “Insurers struggling with Obamacare are already drastically reducing your choice of doctors and hospitals to cut costs.”
Devon Herrick reveals that “Obamacare has caused more people to reach for their wallets after a medical encounter — not less” and that “all but the most heavily subsidized Obamacare enrollees would be better off financially if they skipped coverage and pay for their own medical care out of pocket.”
Jeffrey Anderson observes that “it seems possible that Obamacare has actually reduced the number of people with private health insurance” and that “Obamacare is basically an expensive Medicaid expansion coupled with 2,400 pages of liberty-sapping mandates.”
John Goodman notes that “Prior to Obamacare, many employers of low-wage workers offered their employees a “mini med” plan, covering, say, the first $25,000 of expenses” and that “Those plans are now gone… employees…are…completely uninsured”
The CEO of CKE Restaurants warns that “fewer people buying insurance through the exchanges, the economics aren’t holding up” and that “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.”
Critics of Obamacare now get to say “we told you so.”
As the Washington Examiner editorialized:
Conservatives screamed a simple fact from the rooftops: Obamacare will not work. No one wanted to listen then, but their warnings are now coming into fruition.
Obamacare, as constructed, attempted to fix a dysfunctional health care payment system by creating an even more complicated system on top of it, filled with subsidies, coverage mandates, and other artificial government incentives. But its result has been a system that plucked Americans out of coverage they like and forced them to pay more for less. …
Taxpayers and insurance customers alike should demand replacing Obamacare with a system that reduces costs and improves quality by injecting actual choice and competition into the insurance market.
I especially like the last part of that excerpt — which is why we need to go well beyond simply repealing Obamacare if we want to restore market forces to the health care sector.