Election Year Gift

I posted this:


In Pennsylvania, the number of insurers in the marketplace has gone from 13 to eight. In Philadelphia, just two insurers are left and premiums are expected to rise 53 percent.

Steve Roberts De Leon
October 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

I’m so glad that money for subsidies grows on trees otherwise the plans would cost more. Thank nobody has to pay for them.

October 25, 2016 at 10:45 am

my premium went from 1400 a month to 2400 a month
my gross pay was 2200, we have come to a place where
the takers out number the those taken from, they certainly are not
givers, they are suffering from feudal level theft

Todd P
October 25, 2016 at 10:00 am

Go ahead, Democrats, run on this in 2016: Higher premiums. Higher prescription prices. Outrageous deductibles. Restricted choice of physicians. Fewer hospitals covered. Technicians performing exams instead of physicians.More people thrown off insurance plans than signed up for Obamcare. 30 MILLION still uninsured after full implementation of ACA……


Average premiums for popular Affordable Care Act plans rising 25 percent for 2017

Chris New York
8:17 PM EDT

As a sole proprietor I have been buying health insurance for many years, it’s expensive but I’ve been fortunate, good health so I didn’t have to use it except for annual check ups, but I had this safety net in case something happened, it protected my assets like my home it gives peace of mind. Millions of additional Americans now have this peace of mind and we’re all protected from being denied coverage for pre existing conditions. Let’s hope a new congress will try to fix this important legislation, everyone should have access to health insurance.

Snarky Pants
8:17 PM EDT

Gruber was right about Dems. Always safe to depend on their stupidity.

James Pratt
8:16 PM EDT
Congratulations democrats. You got your “affordable health care” that you wanted.

Last Gasp
8:14 PM EDT

ACA is a perfect example of why the Democrats shouldn’t be given keys to the White House and both houses of Congress. It was poorly designed, passed against the wishes of most Americans, the rollout was a comedy of errors, and it’s ended up costing Americans tens of billions of dollars in extra premiums for inferior coverage. ‘ 
Now it will need to be either fixed or scrapped or else will collapse under its own weight.

8:14 PM EDT

Doesn’t seem to matter to an awful lot of people that lives have been saved as a result of this law…hardened hearts…

8:13 PM EDT

I think Bill Clinton said it best about Obamacare when he was stumping for Hillary. There was once a time when Democrats cared about the middle class. Now all they are about is Hollywood and SV.  
Clinton railed against Obamacare, saying in part, “The people that are getting killed in this deal are small business people and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies. … So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.” He’s absolutely right. For all of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton campaign’s happy talk on Obamacare, the average working American is going to see higher deductibles, less choice and in many cases, double-digit premium increases when they log onto the Obamacare exchanges in the first week of November. Middle-class Americans who don’t qualify for hefty government subsidies will be the ones who suffer most. 

Snarky Pants
8:10 PM EDT

Let’s remember what the American people were deceived into anticipating: 1. Universal health care coverage. 2. $2,500 per family premium reduction. 3. Bend the cost curve down. 4. Keep your plan period. 5. Keep your doctor period. 6. No taxes on people making less than $250,000 (the individual mandate was a tax acording to Professor Gruber and the Supreme Court). 7. Signing up for the exchanges will be easy. 8. The “Cadillac Tax” will only apply to high-end employer plans (when it will actually, and very quickly, come to apply to all employer plans). 9. Care will not be rationed. 10. Religious objections to certain types of coverage will be respected. 11. There will be no adverse impact on medical innovation. 12. Emergency room visits will decline.

8:09 PM EDT [Edited]

Burwell said that premiums have been influenced by “efforts to undermine the ACA,” including a decision by the Republican-led Congress to block money intended to help buffer insurers with high-cost customers. 
This is like taking a dump in the middle of the office and then blaming everyone else for the odor when they refuse to grab a bottle of Febreze. Is there any point at which the Democratic Party and its cohorts will take responsibility for what is a very poorly crafted bill? This thing was destined to be a disaster from the get-go. It was rushed through Congress in order to take advantage of President Obama’s “honeymoon” time-frame; it was written largely by staffers; and at no point was it ever considered so bad or unworkable that Republicans’ (and some Democrats’) skepticism toward its viability was taken as a reason for hashing out a truly bipartisan solution.  
People like to pretend that Nancy Pelosi’s bird-brained comment about needing to pass the bill “so that [we] can find out what’s in it” was some sort of slip of the tongue. No, it wasn’t. She didn’t read the bill. And yet it’s the Republicans — the people who had the least to do with the final, miserable product — who are to be held responsible? Jesus Christ.

8:13 PM EDT

Don’t forget the Dems passed it on a special vote on Christmas Eve after the Republicans had gone home!!

8:05 PM EDT

That’s what happens when you put for-profit insurance company foxes in charge of the henhouse. We need a single-payer option for everyone and the ability of the plan to negotiate drug prices.


Obama Lied. My Third Health Plan Just Died.

By Michelle Malkin | October 12, 2016 | 8:22 AM EDT

Once was a shock. Twice was an outrage. Thrice is a nightmare that won’t end.

Over the past three years, my family’s private, individual health insurance plan — a high-deductible Preferred Provider Organization — has been canceled three times. Our first death notice, from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, arrived in the fall of 2013. Our second, from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, came last August. Three weeks ago, we received another ominous “notice of plan discontinuation” from Anthem informing us that the insurer “will no longer offer your current health plan in the State of Colorado.”

Every time we receive a cancellation letter, I recall President Obama’s big lie: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

Then I imagine Vincent Price’s evil “Thriller” laugh reverberating at the end of that cruel punchline: Mwahahahahahaha!

(Actually, you can play a real-life horror soundtrack by watching Obama’s jerk speechwriters Jon Lovett, David Litt and Jon Favreau cackle with liberal PBS host Charlie Rose earlier this year about authoring Obamacare’s big lie. Google it, but take your blood pressure medication first.)

Like an estimated 22 million other Americans, I am a self-employed small-business owner who buys health insurance for my family directly on the individual market (as opposed to group insurance through a company or third party). Our most recent plan features a $6,000 deductible with a $1,000 monthly premium. It’s nosebleed expensive, but provides us access to specialists not curtailed by bureaucratic gatekeepers. This has been important for us because several members of my family have required specialized care for chronic illnesses.

Once again, however, I’ll soon be talking about our plan in the past tense. Choices for families like mine have evaporated in the era of Obamacare. In Colorado, UnitedHealthCare and Humana will cease selling individual plans next year. Rocky Mountain Health Plans is pulling out of the individual market in all but one county. Nearly 100,000 of my fellow Coloradans will be forced to find new insurance alternatives as open enrollment approaches on Nov. 1, according to the Denver Business Journal. As Anthem abandons PPOs, the cost of remaining individual market plans will soar an average of 20 percent.

It’s a nationwide implosion.

Individual market customers on the Obamacare exchange in Oklahoma learned last week that they’ll face average rate hikes of a whopping 76 percent. Last month, Maryland approved double-digit rate hikes for all individual market plans. In August, Tennessee approved rate increases of between 44 and 62 percent for three insurers still carrying individual market plans. And in Minnesota, where the individual market is on the brink of collapse, state officials recently agreed to raise rates an average of 60 percent next year — affecting an estimated 250,000 people both on and off the Obamacare exchanges.

The private individual insurance market is in peril. The government-run exchanges are flailing. And the vaunted nonprofit Obamacare co-ops that were supposed to dramatically lower costs have bombed despite billions in taxpayer subsidies.

I believe this insurance market meltdown — which many of us predicted from the get-go — is not by accident, but by design. Or as Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak put it: “This system has been doomed from the beginning.”

Smug propagandists for Obamacare, such as liberal magazine Mother Jones, continue to dismiss the plight of millions of families like mine and accuse us of concocting a “phony” crisis. But it’s the architects of Obamacare who prevaricated all along. Remember: Obamacare godfather and MIT professor Jonathan Gruber bragged that “lack of transparency” was a “huge political advantage,” along with what he derided as “the stupidity of the American voter.”

This wealth redistribution Trojan horse was sold to gullible Americans as a vehicle for expanding “affordable” access to health insurance for all. Now, millions of us are paying the price: crappier plans, fewer choices, shrinking access to specialists, skyrocketing price tags — and no end in sight to the death spiral.

Mission accomplished


The Incredible Shrinking Obamacare

During the debate over Obamacare, both supporters and opponents assumed the giant law would transform the American health care system. The supporters argued that the system would help Americans purchase health insurance through carefully regulated state exchanges.  President Obama envisioned a day when consumers could shop for health coverage “the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon.”

In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated there would be 21 million Americans using the exchanges by now. Many supporters argued that the exchanges would eventually replace the current dominant employer-based system.

The promise of Obamacare was that it would foster competition and offer lower premiums while covering tens of millions of Americans without, as Obama often put it, adding a dime to the deficit.

Unfortunately, most of the exchanges are in serious trouble. As many critics pointed out at the time, the law is poorly designed to induce younger, healthier people to get into the system. The penalties attached to the individual mandate are too weak. The subsidies are too small. The premiums are too costly. The deductibles are too high. Many doctors aren’t participating in the networks.

Only about 
12 million people are in exchanges
. More important, the exchanges are attracting sicker, poorer people, who drain money, and are not attracting the healthier people who pour money in.

Many insurers are suffering catastrophic losses and pulling out. As James Capretta of the American Enterprise Institute  has noted, Aetna has lost $430 million since January 2014 on insurance plans sold through Obamacare and is withdrawing from 11 of its 15 states. United Healthcare has lost $1.3 billion on the exchanges and will cut its participation to three states from 34.

That means less coverage; 24 million Americans  still lack health insurance. That means less competition. Before too long, a third of the exchanges will have just one insurer in them. That also means higher premiums. Blue Cross Blue Shield has requested a 62 percent increase for next year in Tennessee and an average 65 percent increase in Arizona. Some experts put the  national requested increase at 23 percent.

The exchanges are also producing less coverage. The insurers that are staying offer pared-down restrictive plans that look more like 

Does this mean Obamacare is failing? No. The law has produced many positive outcomes across the health care world. More than 
20 million more Americans
 have coverage because of it, and the evidence suggests their health has improved.

But it does mean Obamacare is not what we thought it would be. It’s a much more modest add-on to the pre-existing system. 
Sarah Kliff put it well
in Vox: “Obamacare’s insurance expansion is on the path to looking like other safety net programs we know, offering limited services to a predominantly low-income population.”

Kliff quotes former administration official Michael Adelberg: “The exchange population — 85 percent of which qualifies for financial assistance — looks a lot like the Medicaid population. And with it, we’re seeing the start of the Medicaid-ization of exchange plans: narrow networks with no frills.”

Again, this is not bad. But we’d have had a very different debate if we knew the law was going to be a discrete government effort to subsidize health care for more poor people. For one thing, Democrats would have probably paid a much smaller political price if their effort wasn’t billed as an extravagant government grab to take over the nation’s health care system. The administration imagined something transformational; it ended up with something significant but incremental.

There are also lessons for people who think about policy making. First designing technocratic systems that will actually work is really hard. Second, designing effective technocratic systems that can pass politically is really, really hard. Third, designing politically plausible technocratic systems in a country divided on fundamental philosophy is hardness on stilts.

Philosophically, Obamacare tried to split the difference between European-style government coercion (the individual mandates) with a traditionally American respect for competition and freedom of choice (the exchanges).

But lawmakers couldn’t stomach a law involving forceful coercion (punishing penalties to make the young take part) and they couldn’t stomach a more purely market-based system. They wound up with a nonfunctioning compromise.

From here on out the health care debate will return, but in polarized form. Democrats are already really pushing for the public option, a heavier state player. Republicans are pointing out that technocrats are bad at designing dynamic systems and the insurance markets should work more like traditional markets. The next president will have to deal with all this, especially if the exchanges go into a death spiral, even though the subject has been basically ignored in the campaign.

It will be hard to govern after a campaign about nothing.


About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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