Tag Archives: Premium

By any measure, Obamacare has been a disastrous failure

Well, the law was supposed to take until now to come into full effect. Now that we are getting the full Obamacare, what are we seeing?

The Wall Street Journal says not enough of the young Democrats who voted for Obamacare are signing up for it:

This month the Health and Human Services Department dramatically discounted its internal estimate of how many people will join the state insurance exchanges in 2016. There are about 9.1 million enrollees today, and the consensus estimate—by the Congressional Budget Office, the Medicare actuary and independent analysts like Rand Corp.—was that participation would surge to some 20 million. But HHS now expects enrollment to grow to between merely 9.4 million and 11.4 million.

Recruitment for 2015 is roughly 70% of the original projection, but ObamaCare will be running at less than half its goal in 2016. HHS believes some 19 million Americans earn too much for Medicaid but qualify for ObamaCare subsidies and haven’t signed up. Some 8.5 million of that 19 million purchase off-exchange private coverage with their own money, while the other 10.5 million are still uninsured. In other words, for every person who’s allowed to join and has, two people haven’t.

Among this population of the uninsured, HHS reports that half are between the ages of 18 and 34 and nearly two-thirds are in excellent or very good health. The exchanges won’t survive actuarially unless they attract this prime demographic: ObamaCare’s individual mandate penalty and social-justice redistribution are supposed to force these low-cost consumers to buy overpriced policies to cross-subsidize everybody else. No wonder HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said meeting even the downgraded target is “probably pretty challenging.”

The program doesn’t work unless young, poor, healthy people are forced to pay for the health care of rich, older, sickly people.

The radically leftist New York Times reports that out of the 22 health insurance co-ops Obamacare created, nine of them have already closed – leaving customers without coverage.


The grim announcements keep coming, picking up pace in recent weeks.

About a third, or eight, alternative health insurers created under President Obama’shealth care law to spur competition that might have made coverage less expensive for consumers are shutting down. The three largest are among that number. Only 14 of the so-called cooperatives are still standing, some precariously.

The toll of failed co-op insurers, which were intended to challenge dominant companies that wield considerable power to dictate prices, has left about 500,000 customers scrambling to find health insurance for next year. A ninth co-op, which served Iowa and Nebraska, closed in February.

At a time when the industry is experiencing a wave of consolidation, with giants like Anthem and Aetna planning to buy their smaller rivals, the vanishing co-ops will leave some consumers with fewer choices — and potentially higher prices.

The failures include co-ops in New York, Colorado, Kentucky and South Carolina.

The shuttering of these start-ups amounts to what could be a loss of nearly $1 billion in federal loans provided to help them get started. And the cascading series of failures has also led to skepticism about the Obama administration’s commitment to this venture.

UPDATE: A day after this was posted, another IRS co-op has just closed, this time in Utah. Now we are up to 10 out of 22.

Cato Institute health care expert Michael Tanner talks about the increases in health care premiums caused by Obamacare at CNS News:

For example, insurance companies have begun submitting their requests for rate increases for 2016, and those requests suggest that premiums could skyrocket next year. Already we’ve seen requests for increases for individual plans as high as 64.8 percent in Texas, 61 percent in Pennsylvania, 51.6 percent in New Mexico, 36.3 percent in Tennessee, 30.4 percent in Maryland, 25 percent in Oregon, and 19.9 percent in Washington. Those increases would come on top of premium increases last year that were 24.4 percent above what they would have been without Obamacare, according to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. At the same time, deductibles for the cheapest Obamacare plans now average about $5,180 for individuals and $10,500 for families.

Recall that on this blog, pretty much all of 2009 and 2010 was spent carefully explaining the moral hazards and other problems created by Obamacare. This was stuff that Republicans knew would happen. But on the other side of the aisle, there was too much naive, youthful exuberance from the secular left. Evidence was ignored, and feelings won the day. Obamacare was passed on the memes and tweets, while the studies reported by people like me went entirely unread.

Investors Business Daily just posted a list of 12 problems with Obamcare for the middle class:

Remember how many times I blogged about this one:

6. Shorter Workweeks

Because ObamaCare’s employer mandate fines don’t apply for workers who average fewer than 30 hours per week, the law gives companies an incentive to put a cap on workhours — particularly for low-wage workers who are less likely to be offered coverage.

The impact isn’t big enough to show up in economywide data, but there’s little doubt that the employer mandate has hurt a lot of people. IBD found 450 employers that capped workhours, and Current Population Survey data show a dive in the share of workers clocking just above 30 hours per week.

And what about the penalty for not buying what the government tells you to:

7. Impact On Wages

In 2016, a company with 50 full-time-equivalent workers could face a penalty of $2,160 per employee (with 30 workers exempted). When the after-tax fine is converted to tax-deductible wages, it equates to $1.71 an hour for a full-time worker.

Who will pay the penalty? For the most part, it won’t be employers — at least not directly. The CBO expects that “the penalty will be borne primarily by workers in the form of reduced wages or other compensation.”

Again, I want to emphasize that it is the evidence-hating secular left that is surprised by these “unexpected” problems with their childish policy. Those of us on the religious right predicted them, because we read the studies that were done before the 2012 election.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the economy’s not doing so well, either:

Changes in quarterly earnings and revenue for S&P 500 companies
Changes in quarterly earnings and revenue for S&P 500 companies

In 2006, we handed both the House and Senate to Democrats. The national debt was $8.5 trillion. In 2008, we handed the Presidency to the Democrats. The national debt was $10 trillion. After 10 years of Democrats, we now have a national debt of $18.5 trillion. It has been a long, low-interest, no-growth Keynesian binge. The kind of economics you expect from a socialist community organizer.

Obamacare success: health insurance premiums to rise 20-40 percent in 2016

Obama doesn't have time for national security
Obama on the golf course having fun

This is from the radically leftist New York Times, of all places.

They write:

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.

The Oregon insurance commissioner, Laura N. Cali, has just approved 2016 rate increases for companies that cover more than 220,000 people. Moda Health Plan, which has the largest enrollment in the state, received a 25 percent increase, and the second-largest plan, LifeWise, received a 33 percent increase.
Jesse Ellis O’Brien, a health advocate at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, said: “Rate increases will be bigger in 2016 than they have been for years and years and will have a profound effect on consumers here. Some may start wondering if insurance is affordable or if it’s worth the money.”

[…]The rate requests are the first to reflect a full year of experience with the new insurance exchanges and federal standards that require insurers to accept all applicants, without charging higher prices because of a person’s illness or disability.

Bye-bye private health insurance, hello government-run VA style health care:

In financial statements filed with the government in the last two months, some insurers said that their claims payments totaled not just 80 percent, but more than 100 percent of premiums. And that, they said, is unsustainable.

Here’s Minnesota and Tennessee:

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, for example, the ratio of claims paid to premium revenues was more than 115 percent, and the company said it lost more than $135 million on its individual insurance business in 2014. “Based on first-quarter results,” it said, “the year-end deficit for 2015 individual business is expected to be significantly higher.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the largest insurer in the state’s individual market, said its proposed increase of 36 percent could affect more than 209,000 consumers.

Missouri, North Carolina, Kansas:

Coventry Health Care, now owned by Aetna, is seeking rate increases that average 22 percent for 70,000 consumers in Missouri. “The claims experience for these plans has been worse than anticipated,” Coventry reported.

In its proposal to increase rates by an average of 25 percent for more than 397,000 consumers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina cited “inpatient costs, particularly in treatment of cancer and heart conditions, emergency room utilization, and cost for specialty drug medications” to treat hepatitis C, breast cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas sought increases averaging 37 percent for 2016 and said the increase could affect 28,600 consumers.

“Kansans who purchased these individual plans since 2014 were older, in general, than expected and required more medical services than anticipated,” the company told federal health officials.

Wow, so when Obama promised all kinds of new free things, that actually costs money? I can’t believe it. Why didn’t Obama tell us that it would cost more to do all these things he promised, and that we would be stuck with the bill – not him? I thought he was such a generous guy and was going to pay for all this himself. But it turns out that he was just telling you what he was going to buy with your money.

Insurance companies are raising their premiums in response to Obamacare

This story is from Investors Business Daily.


We pointed out that several states had already tried these “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” reforms, and they’d been a disaster. Higher premiums encouraged the young and healthy to forgo insurance, knowing that they could sign up after they got sick, which drove premiums still higher.

ObamaCare was supposed to avoid this fate by heavily subsidizing insurance premiums and imposing a tax penalty for going uninsured, to get the young and healthy to sign up and keep premiums down.

But when IBD’s Jed Graham looked at the limited number of filings two weeks ago, he noted that insurers were asking for hikes that averaged 18.6%. And as more rate filings became public, that picture hasn’t changed.

In Virginia, for example, just one plan came in with a proposed rate increase below 10%. Three are above 25%. In Texas, Scott & White wants a 32% boost and Humana 30%. Alliance Health Plans in Georgia says that it needs a 37.85% increase.

The reasons given for these huge increases? The insurance pool is older and sicker than expected.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, which enrolled more than 329,000 people in the state, wants a 29% hike, saying, “Actual claims experience of the members … is significantly higher than expected.”

CareFirst in Maryland said that its per-enrollee claims shot up 49% in the first year of ObamaCare. WPS Health Plan also cited “the impact of numerous additional taxes and fees imposed upon our plan” as part of the reason why it wants a 19% boost.

It sounds so nice to feelings-oriented voters to cover all kinds of things that some people like, like birth control and sex changes. It sounds so nice to feelings-oriented voters to not turn people away with pre-existing conditions. It sounds to nice to feelings-oriented voters for every plan to cover maternity care – even for people who don’t use it, e.g. – men. But the simple fact of the matter is that when you force insurers to include more coverages and extend coverage to more people, then there will be more claims, and the next rounds of premiums must rise to cover the increased number of claims. That’s how insurance works. Although I doubt the average feelings-oriented Democrat understands that.


What’s more, these big increases are coming before ObamaCare’s temporary industry bailout programs go away. They were specifically designed to protect insurers from big losses, allowing them to keep premiums lower than they might have otherwise.

The cost of claims is going higher. The subsidies to cover the higher claims disappear. The private insurance companies cannot pay the higher claims. The private insurance companies close. The government takes over the health care industry. Taxes go up, to pay for a bloated and wasteful government-run health care system. Patients are forced to wait longer for care, even after paying into the single payer system their whole lives. Conscience protections disappear. More and more unethical behaviors that require health care get covered by the single payer system, encouraging patients to be less responsible since health care is “free”. Tax rates go higher to cover skyrocketing costs of “free” health care. Government decides to cut costs by implementing coerced abortion and euthanasia.

All we have to do is look to Europe and Canada to see how it works. This is how the socialist game plan plays out.

Obamacare fines for non-enrollment TRIPLE for coming year

CBS News reports.


Americans will see their bank accounts shrink if they don’t sign up for Obamacare in its second enrollment season.

Uninsured Americans who decide not to enroll will face a penalty of $325 per person, more than tripling the $95 penalty those who did not enroll had to pay the first time around.

Children under the age of 18 will be fined $162.50. The maximum amount an uninsured family will be penalized is $975 under the flat-rate method.

[…]CBS News reports that many Obamacare plans will be charging more as a 27-year-old earning 250 percent of the poverty rate will now have to pay an average of 7 percent more for the lowest-cost bronze plan. The analysis from Investor’s Business Daily found that the lowest-cost silver plan will rise 9 percent and the lowest-priced catastrophic policy will go up by 18 percent.

[…]The Health and Human Services Department said earlier this week that between 9 to 9.9 million Americans will receive health care plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for next year’s coverage. That’s lower than the 13 million estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.

[…]The “young invincible” crowd of 18-to-36 year olds is crucial to the law’s success because insurance companies need their business to offset the costs of covering older, sicker and more expensive enrollees.

Recall that conservatives had been warning not enough of these young people have been signing up to pay for these more expensive enrollees. The people who need to be FORCED to sign up are the young people who don’t use health care. These young people – especially young men – have to be forced to pay into the system while not taking anything out. Young men almost never use health care, so they are the perfect serfs for this government controlled health care plan. If lots of young men have to sign up, then the people who need their substance abuse treatments, etc. can get it much cheaper.

Makes you wonder why young people still vote Democrat, doesn’t it? Especially young men! It makes no sense to me.

What does Obama plan to do through executive order after the midterm elections?

Three things, and here they are in this Washington Times editorial.


The first roundhouse swing: Unless we could quarantine the White House, Mr. Obama’s amnesty announcement will sucker punch millions of Americans who could lose jobs to millions of illegal immigrants. Immigration officials already are advertising to purchase up to 39 million plastic ID cards over the next five years. These are to be Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards, two-year work permits like those given by Mr. Obama to over 800,00 “Dreamers.” Also, Permanent Residency Cards (PRC, often called green cards). Typically, they are good for 10 years.

The solicitation says the base number needed is 4 million cards a year, plus possible “surges” of an extra 5 million ID cards in 2015, 5-million in 2016, 3 million in 2017, 2 million in 2018 and 3 million in 2019. Each is to have embedded RFID chips and holographic images.

Punch No. 2 is more scary news about Obamacare. Next year’s rates should have been revealed Oct. 1st, but that was purposefully delayed until Nov. 14th. Analysts project premiums on the low-cost plans will rise by 14 percent next year. These are high-deductible policies, criticized for requiring a $6,000 deductible to be paid before insurance kicks in. Investors Business Daily reports an expected 64 percent jump in Seattle, rising from $60 to $98 per month. Other examples: In Providence, R.I., the monthly change would be from $72 to $99 per month; Los Angeles from $88 to $111; New York City from $97 to $114.

This Obamacare wallop is a combination punch. Exemptions for “non-compliant” policies will expire, meaning that people who like their coverage cannot keep it. They’ll be knocked down into the Obama mess of high premiums, high deductibles and less choice of doctors. For example, Colorado suffered 22,000 policy cancellations last month alone, with 193,000 more expected in the next year.

Mr. Obama’s third strike at Americans’ jaws is a massive prison release. Expect 20,000 inmates to receive executive clemency in addition to the 36,000 illegal immigrant convicts set free in 2013. Most will be minorities and that’s the heart of the matter. Mr. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have often complained that minorities are sentenced for too long, especially for drug offenses. The Justice Department announced this “New Clemency Initiative” in April, then invited criminal defense lawyers, public defenders and the ACLU to do the screening for who they think should be turned loose.

They claim that violent offenders will be weeded out. But this administration is notorious for announcing supposedly strict guidelines but failing to follow them.

There’s also a major risk because a high number may include those recruited in prison by radical Islamists. Those jihadists focus on black American prisoners who want revenge against supposed injustice. The risk is that another Alton Nolen may be among those put on our streets. Nolen, an Islamist convert, was let out of Oklahoma’s prisons early and now is accused of beheading a co-worker in his pursuit of jihad revenge.

Mr. Obama’s plans are in place for the one-two-three punch on amnesty, Obamacare and get-out-of-jail-early. The last remaining barrier protecting us from Obama-unchained is his need to protect fellow Democrats on Nov. 4th. That date is like a boxing bell, signaling Mr. Obama to unleash his barrage.

Regarding that third “punch”, recall that convicted felons vote OVERWHELMINGLY Democrat. That’s why he wants to let them out. We already know that he opposes voter ID verification. Between the release of criminals and the amnesty of criminals, we may never see another roadbock on the road to serfdom ever again in this country.