Fasten your chip straps; especially if you rely upon what is colloquially known as ObamaCare. Choices are down! Prices are up! Not what one would call a ‘great deal’.
Eight states have just a single ObamaCare carrier from which to select…not that this is a selection, of course. It is then just a ‘take it or leave it’ proposition. The ‘benchmark’ ObamaCare plan has rates 37% higher than a year ago. That is the Silver Plan so not even the most costly benefit levels are found here. If we simply assume rate increases of 25% per year, people would have seen a compounded rate increase of 745% by year five. If the monthly rate had been $250 in year one, the rate on that same plan would be over $1,860 per month by year six. The only solution would be taxpayer dollars given to those insurers hit hardest to make sure they stayed in business.
If this were to happen, and, at the moment it seems this example might be too small, then the plans lose people who think they might be able to do without coverage. Those would typically be the people who think they are healthy enough to have only minor issues through the course of the coming year. These are the very people these plans need in order to offset the losses that will only increase per capita over time.
There is but one obvious outcome: claims overtake even these egregiously high premium rates, for what is covered, and the plans fail. The plans simply cannot pay the claims made by physicians and other healthcare providers. I have mentioned the Death Spiral before and we are witnessing a death-spiral-in-the-making today; it has been in the making since day one given Obamacare’s construction, actually, but that apparently still needs some time to become recognizable.
To continue the review: 55% of enrollees will have just one or two carriers from which to choose. The average tax credit will rise by 45% in 2018 compared to 2017. Some 30% of enrollees will have no choice other than taking the ONE insurer offering in their world or getting out of ObamaCare. If out, where do they go for coverage?
Beyond the limited, or completely absent, insurer selection, if only a single carrier is open for business in a given state, that drives all consumers into that plan and that assures that even that one plan will be hit and hit hard thus forcing the ultimate decision sooner rather than later. The promises of reimbursement for excessive claims losses will become hollow as the dollar amount of those bail-outs becomes so large that government will shirk its responsibilities to the insurers.
Many of the participating insurers are not the giants but smaller organizations developed to get into this marketplace given assurances of government dollars should their claims be higher than premiums collected. Government reneging on such promises will have but one effect: multiple ObamaCare insurers created for that business will go out of business with a huge debt left behind.
Then what? Well, how about a true single-payer system such as many who supported ObamaCare really wanted in the beginning. We know the liberals have been wishing for such a thing for years. They want all of us to be on a government-run system. They believe I think, in their heart-of-hearts, that this will be a good thing. They seem unable to learn lessons from other single-payer plan blow-ups. Somehow their plan would survive and thrive even though none have before. They have a system to look at, the Veterans Administration, or VA, and they ought to be able to see the kinds of issues that arise in such programs.
The 2018 offerings are upon us. The insurers have trained the agents they employ and those with whom they contract. The offering period is shorter this year, so more work must be crammed into less time. This will only exacerbate the whole process. What might’ve been mere annoyances will become major problems.
In the meantime, the flaws in this system go unchanged even though one has to believe they’ve been recognized…maybe from the very beginning of ObamaCare. The companies involved know what they’re doing. They know the rules that have been set by the government; in some cases, those rules require the insurers to pay the cost of subsidies that used to come from the government. It almost seems the government would like insurers to go bankrupt, doesn’t it?
This will further exacerbate the problems leading us closer and closer to the point of no return. That point will be when the few remaining insurers recognize they will go broke if they continue to work with the federal government in what they thought originally was to be a partnership.
That realization will propel the country into government-provided nationalized healthcare. This very same government has had problems with this function through the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital system network. That hasn’t functioned very well in delivering what had been promised. Corners have had to be cut as budgets became unable to bear the load heaped on the VA.
Why some think that a similar health plan offering to non-veterans will function well is a mystery…to me at least. We have the example plainly before us. We’ve had it for years. We’ve seen that it has done nearly nothing but get worse year-over-year. Why do some believe this system architecture will perform any better with magnitudes more patients involved? Are these the very brightest minds we can find, or is it that we have intentionally ignored those minds in favor of minds that close on command?
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