After six years of dozens of Obamacare repeal votes, campaign ads in which GOP candidates literally blow the law into smithereens, and a consistent political tenor that has treated the Affordable Care Act as if it was the most divisive piece of legislation passed in American history, Hillary Clinton believes she can bring Republicans to the table to make it better, rather than destroy it.
Or at least, that’s what her advisers say, many of them appearing on panels and mingling at events during the Democratic National Convention attended by lobbyists, advocates and other professionals with vested interests in the law.
You might not believe it’s true, but more cost less after Obamacare began, a new analysis claims.
The average premiums in the nation’s individual health insurance market “actually dropped significantly” in 2014, the year that the Affordable Care Act took effect, “even while consumers got better coverage,” according to two health-care analysts whose findings challenge a popular narrative about Obamacare prices.
“In other words, people are getting more for less under the ACA,” wrote Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg in the article about their findings, published on the HealthAffairs Blog.
One of the nation’s largest health insurance companies plans to enter the Obamacare marketplace in the Chicago area for the first time, bringing new competition as other insurers exit or go out of business.
The Chicago Tribune has confirmed that Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Conn., has filed plans to sell health policies to individuals and families who purchase their own coverage in the individual market. If the plans are approved by Illinois regulators, Cigna will start selling policies Nov. 1, when enrollment for 2017 Obamacare coverage opens.
The Democratic Party released its platform, which calls for end to Obamacare tax. The Republicans have been saying it for years. Hillary has more recently agreed, and the might of the Democratic party is now saying it too. You can read the 2016 Democratic Party Platform here. But finding the official statement isn’t easy. It is buried in a singlesentence on page 35:
We will repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance and find revenue to offset it because we need to contain the long-term growth of health care costs, but should not risk passing on too much of the burden to workers.”
A new government report shows that the average ObamaCare Medicaid expansion enrollee costs the federal government $6,366 in 2015, 49% above the per-person cost of $4,281 projected a year ago.
The surprising cost overrun is likely to result in increased scrutiny of Medicaid program expenses by Congress and could pose a risk to insurer profits in the one area of ObamaCare that has provided a reliable boost for their bottom lines.
UnitedHealth (UNH), which is pulling out of the individual health insurance exchange business in most states amid growing losses, is among companies profiting from the Medicaid expansion. Public companies vying for the Medicaid managed care business include Centene (CNC), Anthem (ANTM) and Molina (MOH).
Obamacare changed things by establishing 10 categories of benefits that most insurance plans must cover — including hospitalization, prescription drugs, laboratory services and mental health care — and prohibiting annual or lifetime limits on those benefits. Any individual policies not meeting these requirements don’t constitute the “insurance” Americans must have to avoid paying a tax penalty.
This month, however, a federal appeals court ruled that people can buy plans with far more limited coverage. Yet those who buy such plans risk being surprised twice — first when they’re saddled with the tax penalty for not carrying adequate insurance, and then when they need care and find their coverage doesn’t go as far as they thought.
Only about one-third of health insurers came out ahead in their first year in the ObamaCare marketplace, according to a study by the Commonwealth Fund released Wednesday.
While insurers made nearly twice as much money from healthcare premiums in 2014, overall profits “diminished noticeably” because of higher payouts, according to the expansive new analysis on companies participating in the exchanges.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. on Tuesday said it anticipated another $200 million more in losses this year on the individual insurance business created under U.S. President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law, citing the program’s high medical costs.
The largest U.S. health insurer said the problem was confined to this one business line, which it plans to exit in 2017 for the most part.
This was the third quarter in a row when UnitedHealth has booked anticipated losses for the program known as Obamacare. In April, it said it expected $650 million in losses on the program this year.
One reason John Kasich was unacceptable to many conservatives as this year’s GOP standard bearer involves his acquiescence in Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. Many believe that, as Governor of Ohio, he has squandered the hard won 2012 Supreme Court victory concerning a provision of the “reform” law that granted the President and his apparatchiks the power to coerce the states into compliance. Despite the 7-2 SCOTUS ruling that such coercion is unconstitutional, Kasich and a few other GOP governors have voluntarily colluded with the Obama administration on Medicaid expansion. Among these Republican sell-outs was the Governor of Indiana — Mike Pence.
Sixteen Obamacare co-ops have now failed. Illinois announced that Land of Lincoln Health, a taxpayer funded Obamacare co-op, would close its doors, leaving 49,000 without insurance. The co-op now joins a list of 15 other Obamacare co-ops that have collapsed since Obamacare’s implementation. Failed co-ops have thus far cost taxpayers more than $1.7 billion in funds that may never be recovered.
Co-ops were promoted as not-for-profit alternatives to traditional insurance companies created under Obamacare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) financed co-ops with startup and solvency loans, totaling more than $2.4 billion in taxpayer dollars. They have failed to become sustainable with many collapsing amid the failure of Obamacare exchanges.