Obamacare is unaffordable, failing
I don’t know about you, but since the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, took effect, my health insurance costs have doubled. An important provision of Obamacare was the risk corridor. The idea of the risk corridor was to compensate insurance companies that end up with bigger costs than they expected. Under the law, they must sell policies equally to everyone, regardless of their medical history. Potentially, this meant some insurers might end up with an especially unhealthy pool of customers. At the time, federal officials said they were counting on the risk corridor program, which lasts through 2016, to forestall any nervousness among insurers about their initial customer base and prevent them from raising rates.
The risk corridor provision of Obamacare provided that if an insurer’s actual claims in 2014 are at least 3 percent greater than the claims projected when the insurer set its 2014 rates, the government must reimburse the insurer for half of the excess. If actual claims jump 8 percent beyond projected claims, the government covers 80 percent of the excess.
In a recent article by Sean Williams in The Motley Fool, he notes that “in 2016, insurers that were losing money on Obamacare’s exchanges requested $2.87 billion in financial assistance. Unfortunately, the Risk Corridor doled out just $362 million, or 13 percent of what was requested.” So, who is picking up the difference? For the most part, it is the insurance companies (at least temporarily), and some actually own and operate health care facilities that will probably share the loss.
The failure of the government to protect insurance companies from losses has resulted in many opting out of the exchanges. This ultimately reduces competition and its pressure to keep rates low.
Ultimately, you, the insured, will pay up and all of us will receive a lower level of health care. Currently, the projected increase in health insurance premiums for 2017 is 18 percent. Ultimately, it will probably be somewhat lower for 2017 but there is no relief in sight for future years.
There is no Santa “Clause” — if you don’t pay directly in premium payments, you will pay in taxes or reduced care. Directly or indirectly, everyone will be adversely impacted by Obamacare. Oh, and by the way, Obamacare was a program to get everyone insured to attain a healthy population. Gallup’s most recent survey pegged the uninsured rate at 11 percent. So, one in 10 are still not insured and these are mostly the healthy young people who were to pay in more than they cost and, thus, support the unhealthy people — another failed attempt at wealth redistribution.
With this outstanding success at reducing health insurance costs and increasing enrollments, I do not understand why anyone would want to change it. Fred Mumma, Lusby