Obamacare Insurers Are Looking for a Taxpayer Bailout

Inurers helped cheerlead the creation of Obamacare, with plenty of encouragement – and pressure – from Democrats and the Obama administration. As long as the Affordable Care Act included an individual mandate that forced Americans to buy its product, insurers offered political cover for the government takeover of the individual-plan marketplaces. With the prospect of tens of millions of new customers forced into the market for comprehensive health-insurance plans, whether they needed that coverage or not, underwriters saw potential for a massive windfall of profits.

Six years later, those dreams have failed to materialize. Now some insurers want taxpayers to provide them the profits to which they feel entitled — not through superior products and services, but through lawsuits.

Read more at The Fiscal Times

A Big Step Toward Repealing and Replacing Obamacare

For six years, it has been abundantly clear that Americans want Obamacare to be repealed—but only if a well-conceived conservative alternative is positioned to take its place. That’s why the recent release of the House GOP health care plan is a big deal. The new plan would of course repeal Obamacare. But it would also fix what the federal government had already broken even before the law was passed and made things so much worse.

Like the Obamacare alternatives advanced by the 2017 Project, the Hudson Institute, Ed Gillespie, Tom Price, and Scott Walker, the House GOP plan would finally fix the tax inequality in health care—which favors job-based insurance over individually purchased insurance—by offering a simple, refundable, non-income-based tax credit to those who buy health insurance on their own. (Those who don’t use their whole tax credit could put their savings in a health saving account.) Why should someone who has to buy health insurance on his own not get a tax break while his next-door-neighbor, who has job-based insurance, gets a tax break? Fixing this longstanding tax inequity, combined with repealing Obamacare, would allow the individual market—finally—to begin flourishing.

Read more at The Weekly Standard

ObamaCare Is Killing The Blues

Last week Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota made a stunning announcement that it was pulling out of the state’s individual insurance market altogether, after losing $500 million.

It might not be the last of the Blues to abandon ObamaCare. Across the country Blue Cross affiliates are losing staggering amounts of money thanks to the law, and are putting in for premium hikes that would have been unimaginable before ObamaCare.

Read more at Investors Business Daily

The GOP’s Obamacare Replacement: Better Than Good

Last week, the GOP kept a promise to the American people by delivering a replacement plan for Obamacare.

The plan — part of the party’s “A Better Way” campaign — was unveiled by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. “What we are laying out today is a first-time-in-six-years consensus by the Republicans in the House on what we replace Obamacare with,” he said.

The plan is a good one.

Read more at Forbes

It’s Working: Blue Cross Exits Obamacare Market, GOP Rolls Out Replacement Proposal

When the nation’s largest insurer announced its departure from a few Obamacare state exchanges last year, the law’s defenders pooh-poohed the development as a blip on the radar. Then the health insurance giant pulled out of almost all markets, forcing apologists to insist that all was well because UnitedHealth’s overall Obamacare marketshare was relatively small. Next, the company said it was closing up shop within Covered California, the massive exchange in America’s largest state. And now we get word that another enormous insurer is edging away from participation in the law — withdrawing not just from Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange, but from the state’s entire individual-based market.

Read more at Town Hall

Speaker Ryan’s Alternative to Obamacare: Roadmap for Republicans?

Even as Republicans have tried to do away with Obamacare, attempting more than 60 times to repeal or undermine it, they have never agreed on how to replace it.

They will soon, at least according to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and his Republican colleagues.

Speaker Ryan, the House’s highest-ranking Republican, unveiled an agenda Wednesday to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act, while retaining its most popular features.

Read more at the Christian Science Monitor

Obamacare’s Best Is Not Good Enough

The results of a recent poll conducted by the University of Southern California (USC) and the LA Times make it clear there is far from a consensus on the quality and affordability of healthcare in the Golden State. Less than half of those surveyed (44%) felt that healthcare in California was good or excellent, while a plurality (48%) felt that healthcare in the state was fair or poor.

Their concerns are well-founded, too. Contrary to expectations, a large portion of California’s newly-insured under Obamacare were enrollees in the state’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal. Official projections for Medi-Cal enrollment prior to the state’s expansion of Medicaid were about 1.5 million over of the first year. Yet more than 4 million residents signed up for the program during that time. As a result of this rapid expansion, one out of every three Californians is now enrolled in a program originally designed only for California’s poorest and most vulnerable residents, and the entitlement is crowding out other state budget priorities.

Read more at Forbes

US Could Spend $2.6 Trillion Less on Health Than Original Obamacare Estimates

The United States is on track to spend $2.6 trillion less on health care over a five-year period than was originally projected after the passage of Obamacare, a new Urban Institute study released Monday said.

The report also said there is evidence that the growth in health spending has again slowed after it spiked in 2014.

It remains an open question whether Obamacare itself is responsible for the slowdown in estimated spending from 2014-19, which represents an 11 percent drop in spending estimates, or whether the overall sluggish economy should get the credit.

Read more at CNBC

Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: The Future of Obamacare

If crowdsourcing is any indication, sentiment on health care stocks is bearish, no matter who wins the presidency.

As part of an attempt to democratize investor opinions about the stock market, a New York company called CrowdInvest launched the CrowdInvest Wisdom exchange-traded fund (ticker: WIZE) in April. Mobile app users express bullish or bearish opinions on U.S.-traded stocks, and those votes determine which equities are included in the CrowdInvest Wisdom index, which the ETF tracks.

Read more at U.S. News & World Report

Obamacare Repeal Would Lead to 24 Million More People Without Health Insurance

If the next president and Congress repeal Obamacare — as many Republican elected officials want to do — there could end up being more people without health insurance than before the law went into effect, a new study says.

A total of 24 million more people would lose health coverage by 2021 if the Affordable Care Act was repealed, according to the study issued Monday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

Read more at CNBC