Democrats finalized their 2016 election platform at a meeting in Orlando. Interestingly it calls for the destruction of Obamacare.
“Americans should be able to access public coverage through Medicare or a public option” — that is, government-run health care — according to the platofrm. In a nod to former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, who supports a government-run, single-payer “Medicare for All” healthcare system, it also states that “health care is a right.”
They’re embracing single-payer because of Obamacare’s ongoing collapse. As a new report from Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., makes clear, Obamacare’s exchanges are crumbling. Consumers around the USA have access to only one or two insurers — and may soon have none at all. If that happens, Democrats will probably push for a government takeover of the healthcare sector.
Aetna’s chairman and CEO said Monday that the country’s third-largest health insurer had “serious concerns” about the sustainability of Obamacare’s marketplaces.
“We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges,” Mark Bertolini said on an earnings call Monday, according to prepared remarks.
He said the company remained concerned about “the overall stability of the risk pool.”
A recent article in Human Events (online, 5/15) by conservative blogger Michelle Malkin confirms what many Affordable Care Act observers have suspected, if not outright known: “While private health insurance exchanges have operated smoothly and satisfied customers for decades, the Obamacare models are on life support. Oregon’s exchange is six feet under – – shuttered last year after government overseers squandered $300 million on their failed website and shady consultants who allegedly set up a phony website to trick the feds,” so writes Ms. Malkin.
And this trouble does not start or stop in The Beaver State. Also according to Malkin’s Human Events account earlier this month, the feds subpoenaed the Massachusetts Obamacare Exchange – after whistleblowers who worked brought to light catastrophic technological shortfalls in its Health Connector program.
The report goes on to cite Josh Archambault, a senior healthcare fellow at Boston’s Pioneer Institute. It seems Archambault recently released a report recently outlining “the complete incompetence” of the state’s health officials.
Meanwhile, Malkin additionally claims . . . “Obamacare exchanges across the country are instead bleeding money, seeking more taxpayer bailouts.” And, in citing The Washington Post, the Human Events report says this is in spite of $5 billion worth of taxpayer’s subsidies.
Nationally, federal taxpayers have spent $4,633 per Obamacare enrollee for each of the 8+ million who have signed up for Exchange coverage through April 19, 2014. But this ranges from a low of $3,038 in Tennessee to a high of $24,947 in Hawaii. There were similar large differences across states in terms of federal costs per dollar of premiums for plans offered on the Exchanges.
In terms of how much Federal taxpayers spent per dollar of premiuums, there was a 10-fold difference in this metric between the lowest state (Arizona: 63 cents per dollar) and the highest state ($6.38 per dollar in Hawaii). This ratio was slightly higher in Democrat-controlled states ($0.98) than Republican-controlled states ($0.88), but was highest of all in states run by Republican governors facing opposition legislatures ($1.27).
Last fall, as the healthcare.gov website was down for approximately 60 days, a handful of states took the initiative crafting their own. The results, inclusive of enrollment numbers, have been mixed at best, with modest successes in Kentucky and California, but not so much in Maryland and Massachusetts. The situation became so critical in Oregon, the state resorted to offline, paper healthcare applications. Congressional Republicans have called for investigations, especially in blue states.
As much as $500 million in new insurance marketplace grants have been awarded to at least three blue states.
About 106,000 Americans signed up for health plans in the first month of new state and federal insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Wednesday, November 13, 2013. Just a quarter of the insurance enrollments were in the federally run marketplace, while the rest were in the state exchanges.
The small figure was far below what the administration had hoped for and had predicted. Public and congressional frustration continues to escalate as the Obamacare program’s problem-plagued rollout continues and the White House seeks a solution.
Another problem has arisen from people whose individual policies are being canceled because they do not comply with the new coverage rules.
As reelection battles approach, Democrats worry that they must explain Obamacare’s Healthcare.gov website failures while they hope that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, will soon appear.
Sixteen Senate Democrats met with President Obama on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, to urge that he fix the foundering healthcare website, warning of a “crisis of confidence” if he doesn’t act quickly.
The president’s team acknowledged struggling with how to present its message to the public, but some senators left the meeting more concerned that there were no immediate fixes forthcoming more than a month after healthcare.gov went live.
On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the healthcare exchanges for the Affordable Care Act (known as “Obamacare”) debuted, and millions of people visited them, temporarily crashing the federal exchange website and delaying the launches of several state-run websites. However, of the millions of people who visited these sites during the first 24 hours of their existence, only a very small number of people actually have signed up online.
For example, 55,000 people accessed the Colorado site, but only 1,450 individuals created accounts to shop for plans. In Connecticut, only 167 individuals applied for coverage.
On October 1, 2013, new insurance marketplaces will launch in most states, marketing and selling Obamacare-compliant plans and distributing subsidies to help low- and middle-income Americans afford coverage.
Here are three expected outcomes for those shopping in the exchanges:
Americans who buy their own health insurance in 2014 need not obtain coverage through their state-based “Obamacare” exchange. Many insurers will offer individual policies outside the Obamacare exchanges in 2014. Consumers can avoid the exchanges by buying plans directly from insurers or through brokers.
Anyone earning less than 400% of the poverty line will be eligible for federal subsidies toward exchange-based plans, so not taking advantage of the exchange in that case would not make sense. However, those who make too much to qualify for subsidies should look both on and off the exchanges for a plan that best fits their needs. One might wish to go off the exchange for possible better coverage, dealing with less paperwork, and less government involvement.