Monday, August 15, 2016

A Brief Resumption of Obamacare Schadenfreude

With the Olympics and the Presidential election shenanigans, the amount of Obamacare Schadenfreude being produced is way down, which is kind of a shame because It ought to be a major issue in this election (if you think Hillarycare will be any better, I have a bridge to sell you), and the stuff that is coming out is really critical:

ObamaCare problems deepen as insurers scramble to stem lossesObamaCare crashing: Insurers seek massive rate hikes . . . if they're staying in at allThe Obamacare Titlewave (sic?): Waste, Fraud & Unaffordable Care Health Insurance Markets Fade To Red
If forced to buy something they don't want (at prevailing prices) people will buy as little as possible. Surprise!
Ashe Schow at the Washington Examiner: Surprise! Obamacare critics were right
Aetna is just the latest insurance company to deal a blow to Obamacare supporters and those who were forced to purchase plans through the exchanges. UnitedHealth Group announced in April it would leave most Obamacare exchanges, after expecting to lose $650 million from the exchanges this year.

Humana announced in late July that it would also pull out of many Obamacare exchanges. Blue Cross Blue Shield announced a month earlier that it would leave Minnesota after losing $265 million in 2015. Also, some 23 government-created insurance co-ops have failed.

All this in addition to news that massive rate hikes are coming next year and the Congressional Budget Office downgraded its forecast for the law.

"Who could have envisioned such problems? Not Obamacare backers. They were endlessly promising that the law would create vibrant, highly competitive markets that would lower the cost of insurance," IBD's editorial board wrote. "Critics, however, were spot on. They said that, despite the individual mandate, Obamacare wouldn't attract enough young and healthy people to keep premiums down."
I hate to say I told you so. . .  Oh, no, I really don't.  Next president faces possible ObamaCare meltdown. Funny how it happens after Obama's term; almost like it was designed that way. So how would the two candidates handle it?
Republican nominee Donald Trump has vowed to undo ObamaCare, but it could be a tough test for Hillary Clinton, President Obama's potential Democratic successor.

Clinton has already laid out plans to help boost enrollment by making coverage more affordable for people who are still priced out of ObamaCare.

Like Obama, she vowed to invest in advertising and in-person outreach to help more people enroll. Clinton would also increase ObamaCare subsidies so that customers spend no more than 8.5 percent of their income on premiums — down from 9.5 percent under current law.
In other words, more money.
She has also proposed a tax credit of up to $5,000 per family specifically to offset rising out-of-pocket costs — a side effect of cheaper plans offered under ObamaCare.
More and more money.

About that single-payer Plan B for ObamaCare …
If the Trojan-horse theory holds, then the next argument we’ll get from the inevitable ObamaCare collapse is that only a total takeover of the US health-care system will save it. However, a new study from Colorado shows that a single-payer system would produce a similar collapse into a sea of red ink, shrinking provider bases, and skyrocketing costs and taxes. Advocates for state-wide socialized medicine managed to qualify a referendum for the November ballot, but an independent study of the proposal says that it will start off in the red — and only sink further and further every year. By the end of its first decade, it will have a $7.8 billion deficit, even with federal subsidies (via Matt Vespa):
Cost of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion 49% Higher Than Previously Estimated
"We were told all along that the expansion population would be less costly," said health economist Brian Blase with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia. "They are turning out to be far more expensive." Blase previously served as a GOP congressional aide.

The new estimates could be a warning light for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who has promised that if elected president she would work to expand Medicaid in the remaining 19 states that have not done so. Higher costs would make it harder for a President Clinton to sell Obama's full-financing plan to Congress.

Under the law, people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line — roughly $16,390 for an individual and $33,530 for a family of four — are eligible for Medicaid at little or no cost to them.

An estimated 9 million to 10 million people are covered by the Medicaid expansion, and many of the remaining uninsured are likely to be eligible if their states accept. Most of the new Medicaid recipients are low-income adults.
Has a government program ever come in under budget? 

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