What’s happening in North Carolina is repeating itself in state after state across the country and represents the most acute structural threat to the marquee achievement of President Barack Obama’s presidency. A POLITICO review of 2015 financial filings from nearly 100 health plans across a dozen geographically and politically diverse states found that less than a quarter of them hit the standard break-even point for insurers, at which payouts are kept to about 85 percent of premiums taken in. And 40 percent of them had medical costs that outright exceeded the premiums they brought in. The bottom line: many of those insurers lost tens of millions of dollars on their Obamacare policies last year.
Hillary Clinton – whose 2008 healthcare plan was savaged by Obama on the campaign trail before he adopted it as it own upon assuming office — feels obligated to declare that Obamacare is working, a fantasy that results in this sort of aloof dissembling when confronted with real people’s painful realities.
And yet Clinton’s daughter in a video effectively discredits the central premise of the so-called “Affordable” Care Act, assuring voters that her mother will consider a litany of options (including unilateral executive action) to “fix” the problem that Obamacare was ostensibly passed to solve once and for all.
Although one of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was to lower health insurance costs, even liberal analysts have had to admit that, because of such components of the law as guaranteed issue, limited age-rating, and a more comprehensive benefits package, costs involving Obamacare have gone up, not down.
eHealthInsurance.com found that average premiums have increased 38 percent in 2014. An anslysis in 2013 by the Society of Actuaries projected that Obamacare would increase costs by 32 percent for equal benefiit packages in 2016.
While many residents in New York and California may see sizable decreases in their premiums, in states such as Florida, Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina (Republican-led states that have strongly opposed Obamacare), cost will go up because insurers were allowed to sell bare-bones plans and exclude the sick, which has kept costs down. Under Obamacare, insurers must offer a package of essential benefits — including maternity, mental health and medications — and must cover all who apply. More comprehensive coverage generally leads to more expensive healthcare insurance.
The author suggests readers have “a conversation” with their doctors, employers, health insurance agents and accountants about the implications of Obamacare, most of which the author feels will be negative.