North Carolina Paper: Obamacare Premiums Are Rising, So Let's Consider Single-Payer

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 22, 2017 3:00 PM
North Carolina Paper: Obamacare Premiums Are Rising, So Let's Consider Single-Payer

The North Carolina-based News and Observer’s editorial board is calling it quits on Obamacare, but they don’t want repeal. They want to straight up move to something much, much worse: single-payer. Why? Well, those darn premiums are just so high:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, a major ACA provider and the only company covering all 100 counties of North Carolina, has won an average rate increase of roughly 14 percent for those insured under the ACA. Thanks to advance planning, the boost wasn’t as great as it might have been, but the uncertainty in the overall insurance market has resulted in huge jumps for other customers, with some on grandfathered plans purchased before 2010 (less comprehensive and less expensive than ACA plans) anticipating rates double or triple what they were paying.

BCBS isn’t gouging, but rather reflecting the uncertainty in the health insurance market and in the American health-care system, which on many levels seems hostage to the profit motive. What Congress should be doing, instead of trying to patch together something that will have bipartisan approval, is moving toward a single-payer system modeled on Medicare. That is the only financially viable future for the vast majority of Americans, many of whom are seeing huge percentages of their income go to basic health insurance.

Oh, and that’s like most of the op-ed right there. In 2016, the paper interviewed the soon-to-be-retired Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina, who said that the Obamacare model is unsustainable:

In year one [2014], five percent of our ACA customers consumed $830 million in health care costs. That’s how much money went out of our door to pay for the heath care for the sickest five percent of the ACA population that we had; we collected $75 million in premiums–between what they could contribute and the government subsidy. Any way you cut it that’s an unsustainable business model.”

So, the logical choice is to go to another unsustainable health care system. Even The Washington Post’s editorial board knows single-payer is insanely expensive and it may not be politically palatable to Americans; paying more in taxes for reduced access to specialized care and treatment. I don’t need to go into the premium spikes with Obamacare—Guy has been documenting the endless increases for years. Obama’s health care overhaul is circling the drain, so let’s go to a system that will sink the country, says the News and Observer. Par for the course I guess.