The dominoes are finally falling for the epic collapse of the Affordable Care Act, even if it isn’t crystal clear how that will happen.
Gigantic health insurers like UnitedHealth Group and Aetna have scaled down their offerings in Obamacare markets in recent years.
Now another giant, Humana, just announced they would completely withdraw from the Obamacare marketplace at the end of 2017.
Isn’t this proof enough the ACA was a complete disaster? Well wait, there’s more.
The law’s ‘individual mandate’ was supposed to prod young and healthy people into the marketplace, yet it proved to be a weak tool, forcing insurers to raise rates or exit the program.
One-third of U.S. counties had just one insurer to choose from on their respective Obamacare exchanges this year after major players left and all but a handful of 23 nonprofit ‘co-op’ plans failed.
A House Republican noted,
“Premiums are getting higher and higher, and the choices are getting fewer and fewer to the point where people just have no choices left at all. This law is in a collapse, and we have an obligation to rescue people from that collapse.”
The Washington Times reported:
“Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who took office last week, and is working on regulations to stabilize the Obamacare exchanges and reassure insurers that have threatened to withdraw from the marketplace.
Changes could include tightening eligibility for ‘special enrollment periods,’ which allow people to sign up outside of the normal enrollment season.
Insurers say they have been subjected to abuse by people who, rather than paying premiums over time, wait until they get sick to sign up and submit costly medical claims.
In the meantime, Republicans say they are working on a plan to replace Obamacare’s heavy mandates with market reforms that will entice people into plans.
They haven’t fully sketched out a plan for scrapping the law and ensuring a smooth transition, however, opening themselves to counterclaims from Democrats who say Republicans are ‘sabotaging’ the law.
Top Democrats suggested the Human exit is a sign of things to come under Republican leadership.”
Not only can we hope Humana’s withdrawal is a sign of things to come, but at this point, it should be inevitable.
Democratic House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland laughably claimed:
“By continuing to pursue a repeal of the Affordable Care Act — without a real plan to replace it — Republicans are effectively forcing insurers to exit the marketplaces, a trend that will continue unless their rhetoric and policies change. This must come to an end.”
That’s a bold strategy, blaming Republicans for the Obamacare disaster.
Here on planet Earth, however, Hoyer’s claim is a delusional deflection.
It’s truly amazing how Democrats will publicly point fingers at the opposition instead of admitting to their own inadequacies.
Republicans have been persistent in rejecting ridiculous Democrats’ pleas that somehow enforcing even more Obamacare would somehow solve this disaster.
Yet, somehow the Republican Congress is also wavering and being ambiguous about a collective replacement that will benefit everyone. What’s taking so long?
This is confusing the insurance carriers.
Which is exactly why Humana made this announcement.
It was clearly a tactic to spark a sense of urgency in Congress to stop dilly-dallying around and reach a real solution. It’s time for Congress to figure it out now, because insurance carriers have made it clear they’re not waiting on them any longer.