ObamaCare: The Predictable Collapse

Phil Jensen


2012-05-01-humor-trainEveryone knew that it was just a matter of time, but no one expected it to fail this fast. Yet, that is exactly what is happening, as bad news story after bad news story about the state of ObamaCare arrives on a seemingly weekly basis.

ObamaCare co-ops were supposed to provide lower cost health insurance alternatives because they weren’t driven by the profit motive. Now, just a couple of years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, 12 out of 23 co-ops have failed, costing taxpayers $1.2 billion in defaulted loan repayments. The failure rate even outstrips the Labor Department’s 2011 projections of 36 percent, and as The Carpenters used to sing, “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

The impact on 100,000 New York state users of the failed Health Republic Insurance of New York co-op means they will have to find new health insurance. The New York Post writes, “Add 250 New York cancer patients to the long list of victims of ObamaCare’s lies — just one more snapshot of the program’s ongoing death spiral.”

Ted Cruz 2016


The reason cancer patients are now scrambling for healthcare? The collapsed co-op was the only insurance provider that covered treatment at the world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and now with the co-op gone, cancer patients need to find new insurance, new doctors, new treatment centers all at the most vulnerable time in their lives. The naive idea that the co-op could offer premium coverage at non-premium pricing and survive has left patients stranded and taxpayers stuck with the price tag.

But failing co-ops are only a small part of the problem for the ObamaCare house of cards. The largest health insurer in the country, UnitedHealthcare, just announced that they are unlikely to participate in the ObamaCare health exchanges in 2017 and are limiting their marketing for customers through exchanges in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal quotes UnitedHealth Group Chief Executive Stephen J. Hemsley as saying, “We can’t sustain these losses,” further explaining, “We can’t subsidize a market that doesn’t appear at this point to be sustaining itself.”

Woodrow Wilcox


It has long been rumored that health insurance providers were teetering on financial disaster due to the combination of fewer enrollees than planned, increased coverage requirements and profit restrictions imposed under the law. UnitedHealthcare’s admission during a briefing with stock analysts that continuing to operate under the strictures of the ACA doesn’t make financial sense is the equivalent of driving a dozen nails into the coffin of much-hated law.

But wait, there’s more. That ol’ promise that healthcare costs would go down by $2,500 for an average family took another hit of reality as a Wall Street Journal analysis of 2016 rates showed that premiums for individual health plans are going up, with double-digit increases more typical than not.

And healthcare services are being limited due as part of the ObamaCare fallout. In Kentucky, 40 percent of hospitals have had to cut services because the Democratic governor expanded Medicaid eligibility and the costs have soared. The political results are dire for the Democratic Party as a Republican won the governorship in the commonwealth in overwhelming fashion, at least partially due to the shattered trust in government that the healthcare failure has engendered. Newly elected Matt Bevin is only the second Republican governor elected in the state in the past 44 years: Not exactly a political omen that should warm the cockles of Democratic hearts.

Besides skyrocketing healthcare costs, less healthcare service available, anticipated health insurance company abandonment of the system, patients being thrown off coverage and losing their doctors, and the failure of the co-op system, ObamaCare is doing just fine. It is the politicians who still support it who will be on life support come November 2016, when panic over the system intensifies.

The only thing surprising is that anyone still supports this ill-advised, poorly conceived big government boondoggle.

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Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor. Americans for Limited Government is dedicated to putting the principles of limited government into action. They work with local groups across the nation to promote freedom, limited government, and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Their goal is to harness the power of American citizens and grassroots groups in order to put the people back in charge in states across the country.
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  • franklinb23

    It’s almost impossible now to find coverage that does not have an annual deductible of at least $1,500. For some, it’s as high as $5,000 or $10,000. For those at the lower end of the financial spectrum, they’re asking why they should pay for both the cost of coverage as well as the cost of the visits to the doctor that the coverage isn’t covering. It’s a reasonable question. Of course, doctors will often charge folks more if they don’t have coverage (which I think is unjustified).

    The whole thing is just a mess right now.

    • Aren’t you glad ObamaCare lowered your premiums by $2,500?

    • Thisoldspouse

      Actually, cash payments are considerably lower than what is charged the insurance companies. A bird in the hand…

      • franklinb23

        TOS: It was reported that an abdominal CT scan ran $2,400 for Blue Shield policyholders in California. If you’re uninsured and paying cash, one might pay only $250. Some blood tests may run $415 if insured, but only $95 if paying cash. Note that these discounts are generally only if you’re uninsured. Otherwise, you have to pay the “negotiated” price (even if it’s not covered because of a high deductible).

        It would be nice if consumers could get an idea of the “real cost” for these services, but that’s probably not possible. I’m assuming prices are determined in a manner similar to how insurance rates are calculated by property/casualty actuaries (who have a variable number of factors they use to determine how much to charge for each coverage).

        • Basically the insured are paying a considerable portion of the bill for the uninsured. It’s what happens in this distorted, bastardized mixed market that consists of (a) people on insurance, (b) people on the taxpayer’s dime, and (c) people who aren’t playing either game. The health care industry knows it can’t get blood from a turnip (i.e. the uninsured), so they make it up by over-charging the insured and those on government health care.

          Good ole market forces, albeit in a distorted environment. As the saying goes, you can only charge what the market can bear. Private consumers can’t bear huge health care costs…but government and big insurance companies (spread across a large pool of premium payers) can, so the big dogs pay for the little dogs…and since there are far more of the big dogs out there, it’s easier to bury fraud, waste, and abuse in the cracks and folds of such a huge beast, thus continuing to inflate the overall cost of health care.

          Around the time my daughter was born, a relative in our family also had a child, considerably premature. Though premature, they didn’t have insurance…and went home with their child in a couple of days. My daughter was supposedly born with fluid on her lungs (which I consider to be almost pure BS for several reasons), and they kept her in the hospital for 10 days, running up a $35,000 bill. But hey, we had insurance, so they could milk us for a lot more than they could the relative who had no insurance. (We even heard the neonatal staff lamenting that they needed more sick babies or they’d have to lay off people).

          And we can thank-you guessed it-the socialist Democrats for this mess. Because of FDR’s meddling in the free market, businesses began to offer health insurance back then as an incentive to get employees (because they couldn’t offer more money because of wage controls), and thus started the process of a health care system that removed the cost of the service from a direct connection with the wallet of the consumer.

          And government meddling, and every single step toward “single payer” makes it worse and worse.

  • Thisoldspouse

    Extend this monstrosity to its “single payer” conclusion, and you have… Social Security.