Obamacare is a continuing nightmare. It is difficult to find any area where Obamacare is a major success. If there is such an area I assure it could have been accomplished by a free market solution at a tenth the cost and a 90% improvement in results.
The only “improvements” President Obama even has the temerity to mention any more are the increase in the number of insured and that patients with pre-existing conditions can now get health insurance. One would therefore assume that over the next 10 years pretty much every American will be insured. Au contraire, mon ami!
Here are the latest predictions and observations from the Congressional Budget Office and Blue Shield.
[Sources: Taxpayer subsidized coverage rising, by Devon Herrick and Obamacare patients sicker and pricier than expected, by Tami Luhby]
According to a new report by the Congressional Budget office health coverage paid for by U.S. taxpayers is expected to rise over the next 10 years and there will be MORE uninsured rather than fewer!
Let us start with the last line on the chart. In ten years there will be one million more Americans who have no health insurance than there are today – and the total, 28 million, is a breathtaking number. The disabled with Medicare coverage is also not expected to change.
The number of “disabled” on Social Security skyrocketed under the Obama administration. The largest factor in the proliferation of disability spending comes from the fact that Congress has dramatically expanded the definition of who gets called “disabled.” As a result, many able-bodied Americans have been granted government paychecks for life, crowding out our ability to direct needed resources to the genuinely infirm.
All the growth in health coverage will occur is subsidized plans. Individuals with subsidized coverage through the federal and state exchanges are expected to increase by 40%, while those newly eligible for Medicaid due to the ACA will increase by 36%. Medicaid is going broke as you read this missive. How can it increase by 36%? From where will the dollars come?
It is true that those with pre-existing conditions now can no longer be excluded from buying health insurance. That means that patients in Obamacare are sicker and need significantly more medical care than those in employer-sponsored plans, according to a new Blue Cross Blue Shield Association report. This raises fresh concerns about the possibility of steep rate hikes for 2017 and of insurers leaving the Obamacare exchanges. The study, the first of its kind to look at millions of enrollees across the country, found that Obamacare members have higher rates of costly illnesses such as diabetes, depression, hypertension, heart disease, HIV and Hepatitis C.
They also use more medical services — including emergency rooms (we were promised great savings because of fewer emergency room visits), in-patient hospital care, doctors and prescriptions than patients in employer-sponsored plans. Their cost of care was 22% higher than those in work-based health plans.
The Obama administration said it expected initial enrollees to be sicker because they were previously denied policies due to preexisting conditions. But the financial toll on insurers is devastating under the Obamacare requirements. UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurer, is expected to lose nearly $1 billion on Obamacare patients in 2015 and 2016 and may not participate in 2017. Highmark, the nation’s fourth-largest Blue Cross plan, said it has lost more than $773 million in its first two years on the exchanges. It called the losses “unsustainable.” Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina reported $282 million in Obamacare losses in 2015. To counter this, the company raised its rates an average of 32.5% for 2016. Its CEO said the insurer will likely exit the market in 2017.
As was predicted, individuals are signing up only when they get sick. This was not supposed to happen because of “the mandate.” But, the Obama administration subverted this by allowing so-called special enrollment periods, which are intended to allow those under going life changes — such as marriage or job loss — to apply for coverage after open enrollment has ended.
What a mess. Does anyone even remember or does the media ever report President Obama’s promise about Obamacare – that it will not “add one dime to the federal deficit?” Yet progressive/statist/altruists will never say, “Oops, sorry about that! Things were better before we mucked up the system with our brilliant central plan!”
You would be well-served to reread the President’s promises about Obamacare (Footnote). He made them in a speech to a Joint Session of Congress on September 9, 2009.
Footnote – the President’s remarks are available in their totality.
Remarks by the President to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 9, 2009
The plan I’m announcing tonight would meet three basic goals. It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance for those who don’t. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.
Here are the details that every American needs to know about this plan. First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.
Let me repeat this: Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.
I have no doubt that these reforms would greatly benefit Americans from all walks of life, as well as the economy as a whole.
…under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.
My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works.
Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors.
But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. It would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance.
…the insurance companies and their allies don’t like this idea. They argue that these private companies can’t fairly compete with the government. And they’d be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be.
And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have.
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern to me, to members of this chamber, and to the public — and that’s how we pay for this plan.
And here’s what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.
I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize. (Have you seen any of those “spending cuts” in the nearly $9 trillion of Obama deficits?)
…not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan.
The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies — subsidies that do everything to pad their profits but don’t improve the care of seniors. (American seniors must be so stupid… Look at the growth of Medicare Advantage… It doesn’t “improve their care” but just “pads insurance company profits!)
…if we are able to slow the growth of health care costs by just one-tenth of 1 percent each year — one-tenth of 1 percent — it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term.
If you (Republicans) misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out. (But what about your misrepresentations, Mr. President?)