Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Nothing specific today. This is more of a summary of some recent Obamacare issues without too much in the way of specifics, except one overriding thought: it strikes me that Obamacare has failed and we're just seeing the corpse slowly falling down at this point. It has reached the point of being unworkable and where the people it needs to make it work have abandoned ship.

In the past month, we have heard each of the following:

1. The large insurers who lobbied for Obamacare have lost their shirts. The "risk management pools" meant to keep them from losing money failed and they've been losing more than a billion dollars a year between them. As a result the largest insurers are backing out of the markets either entirely or in all but a couple states.

2. The cooperatives that were supposed to shame the insurers into offering lower prices have all but failed. Only a couple still run and they are apparently doomed.

3. We have our first county in Arizona which now has no insurers who will issue policies.

4. The cost of policies in daffy places like California are going up around 13% to 15% this year.

5. Obamacare supporters are outraged that they need to pay huge premiums to get insurance which then has a deductible they will never meet and can't afford. Ha ha! F*ck you.

6. Only about half the people they expected to sign up by this point did. And those who signed up were pretty much the uninsurables. Surprise! Healthy young people stayed away and continue to stay away.

7. Hospitals are taking it in the shorts because the higher deductibles mean that they are getting less money than before the change. What they learned is that before, they got 80% from insurers and ate the rest. Now they are getting 60% from insurers and are eating the rest.

8. The cost of drugs is skyrocketing. Every day something new is announced as going up.

9. There has been tremendous consolidation in the medical field, leading to "too big to fail" in many areas.

10. The hope that businesses would dump insurance so it became a personal thing rather than being tied to a job kind of went the other way. It's more ties to jobs now than before.

Good times. This is what comes of liberal ideas.

UPDATE: Saw some interesting figures just now. 36% of the Obamacare market rating regions have only one plan being offered. 56% have two or fewer. "Some sub-regions" have no plan at all. These are dramatic rises too from last year when these figures were 4% and 39% compared to 36% ad 56%. So it's really bad and it's getting worse. Seven states have only one insurer: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming. Failure in progress.


AndrewPrice said...

BTW, there's a film article today. :)

EPorvaznik said...

Well summarized, as usual, AP! Now off to share this with my friends I know voted twice for Obama, politely reminding them the day my wife and I can no longer afford to pay for her Multiple Sclerosis-related meds, we're reaching into their pockets.

tryanmax said...

I saw a Slate article yesterday with the following phrase in it.

...for all the good the Affordable Care Act has done for the sizable majority of its enrollees...

The rest of the article doesn't matter, as this sentiment sums up Obamacare and the issues surrounding it perfectly. The ACA can't even benefit all of it's enrollees, which--I'm sorry--given how it was sold, should be the minimum expectation. Conspicuously absent from the expression are those who did not need or want to enroll, which is typical of the spin put on Obamacare.

Is Obamacare helping those it was designed to help?

Well, the ones that signed up for it...kinda.

And how about everyone else?


AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Excellent insight. I think you are right. That's is the spin and that is what it means -- "it's kinda helping some people who signed up." What I hear most often is this:

"Yeah, it's not reaching anywhere near the people we thought it would and it's far too expensive... meanie Republicans!... BUT look at all those people who got onto Medicaid because of it. That's been a stunning success!!"

In other words, it's success comes from something unrelated to the law itself. Moreover, that term "success" just means "many people got it." No one has bothered to analyze if it's been useful to them, if it's had a positive effect on them, if it is sustainable in the budgets, or what the effect has been on other people or costs.

Keep in mind all the stories of doctors dropping out of these programs in large numbers.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks EP! That's what liberals never consider. They want these broad solutions that cause lots of damage in the details and right now a lot of drug prices are skyrocketing in response to Obamacare.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - it was designed to give the illusion that it would help those who needed it the most. But someone forgot to explain the difference between the "premium" and the "deductible". There has been an audible **gasp** heard 'round the country. Have you noticed that Obama has taken to radio silence on about everything these days? He even had to be shamed into saying anything about the floods in Louisiana let alone go there. Of course, he's still trying to sort out the whole "It wasn't a 'ransom'. It was 'leverage'" verbal gymnastics between golf games to be bothered with giant hulking messes like Obamacare of his own creation.

Btw, NY has lost 2 of our main ACA-providers. Guess how...bankruptcy after only 2 years. Imagine that. And our rates are going up at least 14%.

BevfromNYC said...

I still think the whole ACA legislation was designed as a poisoned pill that leads to single-payer/Canadian-style sorry-but-you-are-just-too-old-for-any-treatment medical care.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I really don't think that's the case.

For one thing, that would require a degree or long-sighted intelligence that few people have and is even more rare on the left -- they don't do cause and effect well. For another, it would require a pretty vast conspiracy of silence to keep that from being a common discussion on the left.

For another, it's the most unlikely result of the disaster they are causing. They are causing a system where the government run exchanges collapse under their own weight, causing bankruptcies of the people who offered under the plan and leaving government dependents in the lurch. The only people who would do well at that point would be the people who stayed with private insurance. And as it collapsed, you would see more and more doctors flee the system for a pure private sector practice.

The end result of that would be a total loss of faith in the government and people seeing the obvious superiority of the private sector model, along with a widespread aversion to further government solutions.

So the end result would be a strong anti-government mood. Not to mention the cost of the implosion will hamstring the government for decades, so it couldn't offer a solution even if it wanted to.

I think what you are seeing is just how liberalism always works. They figured that this would work for the most part and the parts that didn't could be fixed by more legislation once everyone embraced their genius.

AndrewPrice said...

Interesting how Obama has all but disappeared isn't it? My guess is that he wants to stay out of Hillary's wake as well.

AndrewPrice said...

Just added an update:

UPDATE: Saw some interesting figures just now. 36% of the Obamacare market rating regions have only one plan being offered. 56% have two or fewer. "Some sub-regions" have no plan at all. These are dramatic rises too from last year when these figures were 4% and 39% compared to 36% ad 56%. So it's really bad and it's getting worse. Seven states have only one insurer: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming. Failure in progress.

tryanmax said...

Bev, for those of us paying attention, we always caught the sleight-of-hand when Obamacare changed from "health care" to "health insurance." We knew they were merely foisting a new monthly bill on their constituents while labeling it an entitlement. Honestly, Republicans could learn something from the approach.

ArgentGale said...

Well, I suppose this is what happens when you rush a bribe-laden bill that you have to pass to see what's in it, huh? Excellent summary, Andrew. This could definitely turn into a liability for the Democrats if the Republicans play their cards right (I know). Also, Eric, my sympathies on your wife's MS. My mom had it, too, and had a lot of trouble getting her medication once her ability to work became limited. I often wonder how much that contributed to her passing.

- Daniel

Critch said...

Only an idiot Democrat would say this is for the poor people, make it cost and arm and a leg, then make it tax deductible for a bunch of low income folks who can't use tax deductions. Freakin' Brilliant.

BevfromNYC said...

Speaking of drug prices, has anyone been following the EpiPen fiasco? Apparently the cost went from like $50-60 to over $600 per dose! The drug company's competitor went out of business/bankruptcy, so they have no competition/no price limit!

And oopsie, the CEO of the drug company is Heather Bresch, daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin (D/WV). Now try explaining that one, Dems...evil drug companies run by evil Repub....oh, wait. Nevermind, theymustahadtadoit.

tryanmax said...

theymustahadtadoit, isn't that the name of Elizabeth Warren's tribe?

BevfromNYC said...

No, tryanmax, it is the popular mating call of the common species called Democratus lion-cheetah

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, Welcome to the clusterfudge that is liberalism. And they are morally superior about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Republicans made her do it. Besides, who cares anyways? What does politics have to do with the price of drugs and decisions by drug companies that could possibly be attributed to Democrats in a bad way? No, those don't matter.

Look... shiny.

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, Anyone who can't find $6k to $20k to help liberals feel smug just isn't trying.

ArgentGale said...

Indeed, Andrew, on both counts. It's hard to say which is worse, too, the effects of the policies or the massive smuggie it gives the people who come up with and support this garbage. Then again I suppose that's all modern politics is about, isn't it? Win or lose, as long as you get the almighty smuggie, right?

- Daniel

EPorvaznik said...

Much obliged, Daniel, and my sympathies/condolences re. your mother. Horrible, horrible disease, and my wife fortunately a Long Island Sicilian who still has enough strength to raise both middle fingers at it.

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