Aetna CEO On Obamacare: Young People Will Choose Beer First

Remember when the media, Barack Obama, and Democrats were finger-wagging and tut-tutting Republicans for saying Obamacare was going to be a failure? Remember how Obama said premiums were going to go down?


For the last 18 months, Obama and his fellow Democrats have been reduced to bragging about how many people are now “covered” by health insurance as if it was some real accomplishment. Two points to consider:

  1. It is mandatory. People are merely obeying the law and getting a plan.
  2. The law’s intention was for healthcare coverage to be more affordable, and that has not happened.

Insurers are recognizing this problem. Younger people would rather be in a position where they pay the fine (which the administration is not enforcing), rather than the out of pocket costs for a health care plan. The CEO of Aetna said as much:

Healthier people will avoid buying Affordable Care Act health insurance plans as premiums climb, threatening the stability of the market, Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said.

“As the rates rise, the healthier people pull out because the out-of-pocket costs aren’t worth it,” Bertolini said at Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead Summit in New York. “Young people can do the math. Gas for the car, beer on Fridays and Saturdays, health insurance.”

Premiums for health plans sold to individuals under the ACA, known as Obamacare, are going up by about 25 percent on average for next year. Bertolini said that as costs rise, more individuals will decide not to buy health plans. That’ll push premiums even higher, unless a new president and lawmakers can find fixes for the new markets created by the 2010 health law.


The question over whether such problems get fixed is all dependent upon whether or no the President, be it Obama or Clinton, recognizes what divided government means. It is not to say, as President Obama believes, “Here is what I need, now pass it so I can sign it.” President Obama or President Clinton must recognize divided government means everything is on the table at the start of negotiations, not just what the President wants.




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