Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Like Cord-Wood Stacked For a Bonfire, Obamacare Problems Continue to Pile Up

It seems like a week doesn't go by that we learn of another problem with Obamacare.  The latest is that premiums are set to rise an average of 25%.  Some states will see increases above 50%, and in Arizona, one insurer is set to increase premiums by as much as 116%.

Of course, the Democrat's defense is that 20 million people now have insurance as a result of the law.  However, that is only true if you ignore the fact that 11 million lost their insurance in the first five years since Obama took office; rising from a 14.6% uninsured rate to a record 18% since Medicaid became law. While it's true that today's uninsured rate of 11% is a record low, 36 million people still aren't insured.  To put that in perspective, its almost as if the entire state of California was uninsured.

The Democrats also argue that most people who buy ObamaCare insurance won't see those rate increases because they will be receiving federal subsidies.  So what if 20% don't get subsidies?  Two problems......First, a 25%, 50%, or 116% increase for those unlucky 20% hardly makes the Affordable Care Act affordable.   Ultimately though, the taxpayers foot the bill for the increases.  I suppose the promise of lowering the cost of insurance was only fleeting; one that many knew would never happen.

But, the biggest problem is that insurers are leaving the ObamaCare marketplace in droves because of financial losses.  Thus, leaving many counties with only one insurer.  In other words, no competition, no choice, and another broken promise.  In 2016, there were only 182 counties with one insurer.  Next year, that number goes up to 960.   More than a four fold increase.   One county in Arizona -- Pinal -- was set to have zero insurers until the state regulators stepped in and allowed Blue Cross a 50% increase to stay in the marketplace.  Also, keep in mind that most insurers competing in the exchanges are acting as either a PPO or HMO, which provide only a narrow selection of networked doctors.  Oh well..hope you like your new doctor!

In addition, even though you may be getting subsidized premiums, the average deductible for the insurance is very high.  Most people who buy ObamaCare insurance buy the Silver Plan.  This year, the average deductible for an individual is $3,177.   For a family, it is $6,480.  To put those numbers  into perspective, a recent poll found that 63% of families polled would struggle to cover the cost of a $1,000 emergency medical expense.  Another, not-so-affordable fact.

Lastly, our doctors are overburdened by the reporting mandates of ObamaCare.  A new Weill Cornell Medicine study found that on average, the doctors they surveyed, spent 15 hours a week or 785 hours a year in complying with the reporting mandated by ObamaCare.  For the average doctor, that equates to approximately 9 patients fewer per week. The result is that the country will probably have a doctor shortage as they spend more time reporting and less time treating patients.

Would someone please take a match to this cord-wood pile of ObamaCare problems? And, would somebody ask Hillary Clinton what are the successes she plans to build on?


Obamacare premiums are spiking 25% next year. How bad is that? http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-obamacare-premiums-20161025-snap-story.html

USA Today: The Cascade of 2017 Obamacare Premium Hikes Has Arrived: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2016/10/20/usa-today-the-cascade-of-obamacare-premium-hikes-has-arrived-n2234719

U.S. Uninsured Rate at 11.0%, Lowest in Eight-Year Trend: www.gallup.com/poll/190484/uninsured-rate-lowest-eight-year-trend.aspx 

Nearly 1,000 Healthcare.gov counties will have just one insurer next year: http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/10/26/13407610/obamacare-counties-one-insurer

Arizona's Blue Cross reverses Obamacare exit: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/07/arizonas-blue-cross-reverses-obamacare-exit.html

63 percent of Americans say they're unable to handle a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room bill, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-cant-handle-a-500-surprise-bill/

U.S. Physicians in Four Specialties Spend $15 Billion Annually Reporting Data to Insurance Providers: http://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2016/03/us-physicians-in-four-specialties-spend-15-billion-annually-reporting-data-to-insurance-providers

Silver Plan – Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): https://www.healthpocket.com/individual-health-insurance/silver-health-plans#.WBIwjsmlT-t

The Doctor Shortage in the US Is Real – and It’s Getting Worse: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/04/06/Doctor-Shortage-US-Real-and-It-s-Getting-Worse

Overwhelming Evidence That Obamacare Caused Premiums To Increase Substantially: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2016/07/28/overwhelming-evidence-that-obamacare-caused-premiums-to-increase-substantially/#3b1ab7d146e3

Half Of Obamacare Choices Are HMOs Or Narrow Network Plans: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2016/01/13/half-of-obamacare-choices-are-hmos-or-narrow-network-plans/#715c090841b7

Obamacare: No Successes to Build On: http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2016/08/30/obamacare_no_successes_to_build_on_1702.html

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