Monday, February 1, 2016

ACA/Obamacare: Projected Enrollments Disappoint, Off by Large Margin

"Obamacare enrollment is lagging far behind what economists had projected, the Congressional Budget Office said in a new report that cuts the total number of customers expected to buy plans on the exchanges from 21 million down to just 13 million this year.

Of those, 11 million will be getting government subsidies — down from the 15 million the CBO had projected just a year ago.

The updated projections came as part of the CBO’s 2016 budget outlook, and confirm the administration’s own dim estimates of how many people would take advantage of the health exchanges, which are at the heart of President Obama’s health law." - Obamacare enrollment projections down nearly 40 percent,
washingtontimes.com, 01/25/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jan/25/obamacare-enrollment-projections-down-43-percent/


Saturday, January 23, 2016

ACA/Obamacare: When the Fool Proof Plan Where Nothing Can Go Wrong…Goes Wrong

“Across the country, Americans are facing substantially higher costs under the Affordable Care Act.

In most states, health insurance premiums on the individual marketplace are rising by double digits under Obamacare. Seventeen states will face average premium increases of 20 percent or more. Iowans, for instance, will see their premiums spike by 22 percent this year. In Minnesota, Alaska, Tennessee, and Hawaii, rates will rise by 30 percent or more.

Want to know where your state ranks? Type a state into the search bar to view the average rate hike and the range of premium changes individuals purchasing insurance on the individual market will face. You can also sort or export the data.” - 2016 Obamacare Premium Increase Tracker, 01/10/2016, freedom partners.org

Below is the link to the entire article. You can search any state’s ACA/Obamacare average price increase and the statistics also denote the low and high regarding price increases:

http://freedompartners.org/latest-news/2016-obamacare-premium-increases/

ACA/Obamacare: How Universal is “Single Payer” Healthcare? Not Very!

“There’s plenty of reason for free marketers to be skeptical of proposals, like the ones emanating from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and hinted at by Republican Donald Trump, that would create a single-payer healthcare coverage system in the United States.

But, if only because these proposals have resonance with the public, they’re certainly worth debating. A rational debate depends on getting the facts straight and there’s one fact that both left and right often get wrong: “single payer” healthcare of the sort Bernie Sanders proposes isn’t universal in the developed world and the US system isn’t particularly free-market by the standards of peer nations.

Although definitions vary slightly, a single payer healthcare system is one where a single entity — a government-run insurance plan — pays all bills for a variety of medical care, and private payment for these same services is more-or-less banned.

Among the G-7 countries, only one nation, Canada, actually maintains such a system. One other, Italy, has a pretty similar system but allows much more private payment, and, because of the low standards of public hospitals, nearly everyone who can afford private insurance carries it.” - No, the Rest of the World Doesn't Use "Single Payer", Foundation for Economic Education, 01/21/2016

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://fee.org/anythingpeaceful/the-rest-of-the-world-doesnt-use-single-payer/?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokuq7LZKXonjHpfsX87ukrX6ag38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YIITMB0aPyQAgobGp5I5FEBS7TYRKtst6cMUwemXSjrtqDIZoxAZZ13gZgz


 

 


 


Monday, January 18, 2016

ACA/Obamacare: Amid Major Losses, No Bail Out for Health Insurers, Hence Most Health Insurers Will Apparently Leave ACA after 2016

“Today, Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration are desperate to do something you may find surprising: give the insurance companies more than about $2.5 billion in bail out money.

That’s not a misprint. They want to take tax money from people who already think their premiums are too high and their coverage too skimpy and give it to the very “villains” they were excoriating only a few years ago.

Here’s the back story. Under a program called “risk corridor” insurance, the federal government pledged to redistribute money from insurers who made profits to insurers who incurred losses for a period of several years. The reason: the insurance industry was so uncertain about the outcome of the (Obamacare) health insurance exchanges that they insisted on a backup mechanism to protect themselves.

Yet last year’s appropriations bill, largely at the insistence of Sen. Marco Rubio, requires that the risk corridor payments be revenue neutral. In other words, any payment of funds to an insurance company suffering from a deficit must come from insurance companies who earned a profit. There can be no net transfer of taxpayer funds to the industry.

The problem is that in 2014 most of the carriers lost, and lost big. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, for example, lost almost $400 million. United Healthcare, the nation’s largest private insurer announced the other day that it may pull out of the individual insurance company market altogether in 2017. For the coming year United Healthcare has announced that in most states it is ending all advertising and ceasing all broker commissions for plans sold in the Obamacare exchanges. Cigna just announced that it may leave the market as well.” - The Biggest Threat To Obamacare Is Already Written Into Law: No Insurance Industry Bailouts, forbes.com, 12/10/2016

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2015/12/10/the-biggest-threat-to-obamacare-is-already-written-into-law-no-insurance-industry-bailouts/#2715e4857a0b5f141b71712f

Sunday, January 17, 2016

ACA/Obamacare: Humana Reportedly Exiting Obamacare After Suffering Major Losses

“Humana Inc. has added its name to the list of mega-medical insurers to report big problems under ObamaCare.

The Louisville, Ky.- based company does not expect to make enough money this year in premiums from individual plans to cover what it will pay out in claims, according to a regulatory filing made last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Humana, which is being acquired by Aetna Inc., said it is still trying to figure out how big the gap will be. The company did say it has set aside a premium deficiency reserve – meaning, it’s setting aside money to help make up the difference.

Humana, which will provide a deeper dive into its 2016 outlook when it releases its fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 10, said in the SEC filing that it expects membership to drop this year by 200,000 to 300,000. The decrease reflects plans sold under ObamaCare as well as older policies.

“We expect Humana will exit Health Insurance Exchange marketplaces in 2017 in light of this data, and focus on its Medicare Advantage book of business,” Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte said in a research note on Friday.” - Humana latest insurer to have big problems under ObamaCare, 01/13/2016, foxnews.com

Link to the entire story appears below:


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/13/humana-latest-insurer-to-have-big-problems-under-obamacare.html


 


 


Sunday, January 10, 2016

ACA/Obamacare: Groundwork Laid for Future Repeal

‘President Obama on Friday vetoed legislation to repeal most of his signature health care law, saying the bill would do “harm” to millions of Americans.

The move was widely expected, after Republicans for the first time succeeded in sending an ObamaCare repeal bill to the president’s desk. The legislation that Obama vetoed also would cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

While Congress may try to override, Republicans do not currently have the votes to do so.

Republicans, though, say they met two goals by passing the bill: keeping a promise to voters in an election year, and showing their ability to repeal the health law if a Republican wins the presidency.

“This is the closest we have come to repealing ObamaCare,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Thursday.

As the next step, Ryan wants to work on a proposal to replace the health care law. As he said in a statement Wednesday, the goal is to lay the groundwork for repealing and replacing the law should a Republican win the presidency this November.

“It clears the path to repealing this law with a Republican president in 2017 and replacing it with a truly patient-centered health care system,” he said. “We will not back down from this fight to defend the sanctity of life and make quality health care coverage achievable for all Americans.”’ - Obama vetoes health law repeal bill, foxnews.com, 01/08/2016

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/01/08/obama-vetoes-health-law-repeal-bill.html

Friday, December 25, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: The Cadillac Tax, the Forty Percent Excise Tax, Delayed for Two Years

"The omnibus spending bill recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama delays the onset of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s so-called “Cadillac plan tax” for two years. The new law also weakens the effect of the tax (assuming it’s ever collected) by making it deductible, as noted by my Mercatus Center colleague Brian Blase. I agree with former OMB director Peter Orszag’s observation that the delay may simply be a first instance of a “rolling permanent deferral” of the Cadillac plan tax.

The tax has long been on shaky political ground and the new law considerably reduces the chances of its ever taking effect. It is worth understanding what caused the unraveling of the tax, and what lessons can be drawn from this.

The Cadillac plan tax is (was) a 40% excise tax on the amount by which health insurance plan costs exceeded annual thresholds of $10,200 (individuals) or $27,500 (families), starting in 2018. These thresholds were indexed to grow more slowly than historical health cost growth, so that over time more and more plans would be subject to the tax, producing escalating federal revenues necessary to help fund the ACA’s ambitious health entitlement expansion. A key policy intent of the tax was to offset the damaging effects of the longstanding federal tax preference for employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), one of which is to drive excess health cost inflation.

Lesson #1: Save before you spend.

Lesson #2: Don’t assume a favorable future political alignment.

Lesson #3: Be transparent.

Lesson #4: Partisan victories can be short-lived.

Lesson #5: Don’t campaign against necessary policy steps."

 

- Five Lessons of the Cadillac Plan Tax Failure, Economics 21, Manhattan Institute, 12/22/2015
 

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://economics21.org/commentary/cadillac-tax-obamacare-charles-blahous-12-23-15