A reader (HP) sent this analysis to me. The source of the material is The Economist (see footnote).
[From HP] Obamacare captures only 25% of those who are eligible to be insured as “individuals” (vs. groups). Yet its rippling effects including looming doctor shortages, provider consolidations/mergers, $3T of additional government spending (which amounts to $250,000+ per Obamacare enrollee!) have killed jobs, further inflated our national debt and damaged health-care for all.
S&P among others expect this number is more likely to shrink than grow in the 2016-2017 enrollment period due to soaring premiums.
My friends, Obamacare – our feckless president’s SIGNATURE achievement – is a disaster of biblical proportions. Do you really want Hillary to “save it?”
The Affordable Care Act
FANS of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s health-care law, should spend November biting their nails. The first reason is the presidential election: Republicans want to repeal the law. The second is that the three-month window when Americans can buy insurance, if they are not already covered through their employer, opens on November 1st. Many will shop on government-run marketplaces, or “exchanges”. On October 24th the health department confirmed that buyers will pay a lot more this year. How they react will determine the future of the law—and not just because it may swing their votes.
The average benchmark “silver”—ie, middling—plan sold on the exchange will cost 22% more for 2017. This steep increase partly reflects the fact that insurers have been charging far too little. Many were caught out by the sickliness of exchange customers, and have made big losses as a result. Some, like Aetna, have left most exchanges (in five states, only one insurer now remains)…
Federal subsidies, offered to those earning less than 400% of the poverty line (which works out as $47,520 for individuals), will shield many buyers from the full effect of higher prices. Of the 12m people who bought insurance for 2016 on the exchanges, 10m received subsidies. Obamacare caps their costs…
That is the good news, as far as the law is concerned. The bad news is that 9m people buy coverage directly from insurers, without going through the exchanges or receiving any subsidies (see chart). And these folk, whose premiums help to finance care for everyone, on or off the exchanges, must also pay more. If the healthiest among them decide to forgo insurance, premiums will rise further next year. The only thing stopping them from doing so is a fine for going without insurance, which is small compared with the cost of coverage.
If healthy people stop buying, insurance will become prohibitively expensive for those who do not qualify for subsidies. Obamacare has already raised prices for many in this group. By banning insurers from turning away customers with pre-existing health conditions, for example, it pushed up premiums. In 2015 households earning $70,000 or more spent 75% more on insurance, on average, than in 2010, despite the fact that coverage rose only slightly in this income bracket. That is before rising deductibles are accounted for…