Obamacare Latest: Insurers Flee Exchanges, Uninsured Rate Projected to Rise, Co-ops Failing

Guy Benson
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Posted: Apr 11, 2016 6:30 PM
Obamacare Latest: Insurers Flee Exchanges, Uninsured Rate Projected to Rise, Co-ops Failing

Let's take a quick spin through some recent Obamacare-related headlines, shall we?

(1) One of America's top insurers, hamstrung by losses, pulls out of state exchanges -- as predicted:

The biggest insurer in the nation has exited the Obamacare exchanges in Arkansas and Georgia, as insurers struggle financially in the exchanges. UnitedHealth will leave the two states and not sell plans in Arkansas and Georgia. The move comes as UnitedHealth has detailed more than $400 million in losses in the Obamacare exchanges and threatened to leave the exchanges altogether...UnitedHealth did not immediately return a request for comment. The insurer has previously said that it may have to leave the entire Obamacare business due to mounting losses.

Expect this to be an ongoing trend, in light of Obamacare's unsustainable and expensive risk pools.

(2) In addition to multiple enrollment projection downgrades in recent months, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office now anticipates a rise in the uninsured population over the next ten years:

“About 13 million people selected plans through the marketplaces in 2016 by the close of the open-enrollment period; however CBO and [the Joint committee on Taxation] estimate that, in any given month, an average of about 12 million people will be covered by insurance purchased through the marketplaces,” states the report. The office also projects that from 2017 to 2026 the number of uninsured individuals is expected to rise from 26 million to 28 million. More employers are expected to cease providing insurance for their employees as a result of the Affordable Care Act. While the office estimates that 155 million people will have coverage through their employer in 2016, that number is expected to decline to 152 million in 2019.

The New York Times recently published a story exploring how the law hasn't significantly uprooted employer-based coverage, as many critics had predicted. The piece includes this major disclaimer: "Employers may feel differently if the economy turns down and the labor market is less robust or if there is a sudden spike in health care costs. Because workers can no longer be denied an insurance policy because of poor health, companies may be willing to drop coverage under the right circumstances, knowing that insurance is more available to everyone." It also elides a major factor coming down the pike:


Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has admitted that the so-called 'Cadillac tax' was specifically designed to eventually hit virtually all employer-sponsored plans, despite Democrats' public assurances. Internal White House figures projected that eventually, 93 million Americans will lose their existing healthcare arrangements under Obamacare -- the exact opposite of "if you like your plan, you can keep it."

(3) The law's failing co-ops will continue to fail:

Eight of the 11 remaining Obamacare health insurance co-ops appear likely to fail this year, according to an analysis of financial documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twelve of the original 23 federally-financed co-ops have already collapsed. The co-op program was funded with $2.5 billion in 2010. “In general, there’s not a turnaround in sight. The same problems that plagued them before are continuing,” Thomas P. Miller, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who previously served as the senior health economist for the congressional Joint Economic Committee..."

In case you'd forgotten, one of Hillary Clinton's big plans for fixing the law that was modeled off of her proposal -- and which her daughter admits is "crushing" many consumers with costs -- is to establish...(ta-da!) Obamacare co-ops. No wonder she thinks the law is working; she's badly out of touch.

(4) Speaking of out of touch, when Ted Cruz recently swung by Jimmy Kimmel's show and decried the Obamacare "disaster," the host pushed back, commenting that he doesn't really know anyone who's had a bad experience with the law.  Skip ahead to the 1:45 mark or so for the exchange:


Cruz proceeded to educate Kimmel (who is generally winsome and funny) about the negative consequences the law has inflicted upon millions of American consumers and many small business owners -- including prohibitively high rates and out-of-pocket costs, which contribute heavily to Obamacare's enduring unpopularity.   By a double-digit margin, more Americans say they've been personally harmed by the law than helped.  The least supportive group?  The uninsured, who cannot afford the "Affordable" Care Act.