NY Times: Aetna Dramatically Decreasing Participation In Obamacare Is Just A Hiccup

Aetna has announced that it will significantly reduce its participation in the Obamacare exchanges due to losing quite a bit of money. Many other insurance providers have done the same or pulled out completely. According to the NY Times Editorial Board, the obvious idea here is to scrap it and start over with ideas that actually work strengthen Ocare

Die-hard opponents of the 2010 health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, have often used its real and imagined problems to argue that it is fatally flawed. Now they are seizing on an announcement by Aetna that it will reduce its participation in the health insurance marketplaces set up by the law. Donald Trump’s campaign called Aetna’s move “the latest blow to this broken law that is slowly imploding under its regulatory red tape.”

This is hyperbole. The law has survived many setbacks, and it will overcome Aetna’s decision, too.

Why does it seem there are always “setbacks” occurring with this law? Companies that actually provide health insurance bolting is more than just a setback: what do you replace them with?

About 11 million people have bought policies, and the government provides tax credits to 85 percent of them to make the coverage affordable.

The original idea was to provide insurance for the 40-45 million who did not have insurance. That was scaled back to 20 million. Using the first number, that’s only around a quarter of the number insured. The second, that’s slightly over 50% insured. 50% is failing.

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But some big national insurers like UnitedHealth, Humana and now Aetna say they are losing too much money on marketplace policies. The reason is that the customers they signed up used more medical services than the insurers had anticipated…

Well, gee willickers, if only someone had predicted that this would occur.

It is clear, however, that Congress should strengthen the marketplaces to ensure sufficient competition. For example, it could encourage more healthy people to buy insurance by extending tax credits to families that now earn too much to qualify. Many of those people find it cheaper to pay the tax penalty for not having insurance than to buy it. If more healthy people participated, more insurers would want to be on the exchanges. Congress and state governments could also consider offering a government insurance plan in rural areas and other places where there is little or no competition, as President Obama and Hillary Clinton have proposed.

Let’s see: giving tax credits which aren’t paid for to increase coverage. I guess the stick of fining people for being citizens hasn’t worked. Getting healthy people to participate? I guess threatening them with fines for being citizens isn’t working. And, then, of course, a cute little way to slip in single payer, ie, government run healthcare.

BTW, Hillary and others are pimping the public option, also known as single payer, ie, government run healthcare, as well.

Any law as complex and comprehensive as the Affordable Care Act is bound to have some hiccups. The only sensible response to those problems is to improve the law.

Any law that is this complicated and intrusive, written by interest groups and far left ideologues, which was not read by the majority of those who voted to pass it, and gave the Executive Branch tons of new powers and leeway to create powers doesn’t need improvement: it needs to be scrapped and replaced with sensible measures that, at worst, create hiccups. Insurance providers fleeing the marketplace is not a hiccup: it’s a disaster. One that was predicted, but a disaster nonetheless, especially when it’s paired with things like reduced medical facility coverage, coops collapsing, and jobs being reduced. Deductibles were already high, and premiums continue to go up up up. The money insurance providers receive from the federal government, ie, corporate welfare, to keep prices low(ish) ends in 2017. Repealing and replacing Ocare at this point of operation would be difficult, but, it can still be done.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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