Tag Archives: Health Care Plan

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.

Excerpt:

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.

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

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

Excerpt:

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.

CBO: Obamacare will push 7 million Americans out of job based health insurance

The Washington Times reports.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s health care law will push 7 million people out of their job-based insurance coverage — nearly twice the previous estimate, according to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday.

CBO said that this year’s tax cuts have changed the incentives for businesses and made it less attractive to pay for insurance, meaning fewer will decide to do so. Instead, they’ll choose to pay a penalty to the government, totaling $13 billion in higher fees over the next decade.

But the non-partisan agency also expects fewer people to have to pay individual penalties to the IRS than it earlier projects, because of a better method for calculating incomes that found more people will be exempt.

Overall, the new health provisions are expected to cost the government $1.165 trillion over the next decade — the same as last year’s projection.

With other spending cuts and tax increases called for in the health law, though, CBO still says Mr. Obama’s signature achievement will reduce budget deficits in the short term.

During the health care debate Mr. Obama had said individuals would be able to keep their plans.

Obama said one thing, and something else happened. So why did an obvious liar win re-election in 2012?

The purpose of Democrat policies is not to make our lives better. The purpose of their policies is to make them feel good about themselves. Their good intentions matter more than actual results. But it’s not enough to say that everyone will have great health care. Politicians have to put in place policies that will solve the real problem and make things better. Nothing that Obama did solves the problem. In fact, what he did made the problem worse. That’s what happens when you appoint an imbecile to a difficult task. You get failure.

Firms to drop employee health coverage as Obamacare takes effect

From CBS Marketwatch.

Excerpt:

Once provisions of the Affordable Care Act start to kick in during 2014, at least three of every 10 employers will probably stop offering health coverage, a survey released Monday shows.

While only 7% of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, at least 30% of companies say they will “definitely or probably” stop offering employer-sponsored coverage, according to the study published in McKinsey Quarterly.

The survey of 1,300 employers says those who are keenly aware of the health-reform measure probably are more likely to consider an alternative to employer-sponsored plans, with 50% to 60% in this group expected to make a change. It also found that for some, it makes more sense to switch.

“At least 30% of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage, even if they completely compensated employees for the change through other benefit offerings or higher salaries,” the study says.

Now we’re going to get what we voted for, unless the Republicans get in all the way in 2012.

3M to drop retirees from its health care plan

Story from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T National Review via ECM)

Excerpt:

3M Co. confirmed it would eventually stop offering its health-insurance plan to retirees, citing the federal health overhaul as a factor.

The changes won’t start to phase in until 2013. But they show how companies are beginning to respond to the new law, which should make it easier for people in their 50s and early-60s to find affordable policies on their own. While thousands of employers are tapping new funds from the law to keep retiree plans, 3M illustrates that others may not opt to retain such plans over the next few years

The St. Paul, Minn., manufacturing conglomerate notified employees on Friday that it would change retiree benefits both for those who are too young to qualify for Medicare and for those who qualify for the Medicare program. Both groups will get an unspecified health reimbursement instead of having access to a company-sponsored health plan.

The maker of Post-it notes and Scotch tape said it made the announcement now to give retirees a chance to explore different options during this year’s benefit-enrollment period, according to a 3M memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. A 3M spokeswoman, Jacqueline Berry, confirmed the contents of the memo.

“As you know, the recently enacted health care reform law has fundamentally changed the health care insurance market,” the memo said. “Health care options in the marketplace have improved, and readily available individual insurance plans in the Medicare marketplace provide benefits more tailored to retirees’ personal needs often at lower costs than what they pay for retiree medical coverage through 3M.

“In addition, health care reform has made it more difficult for employers like 3M to provide a plan that will remain competitive,” the memo said.

But Obamacare won’t force you to lose your existing health insurance. Oh. No.