While we wait for Obamacare to be repealed, replaced, or revised, it’s already begun crumbling.
The latest blow to the so-called Affordable Care Act was announced earlier this week. Humana, Inc., one of the nation’s largest insurers, stated it will be pulling out of Obamacare exchanges entirely by the end of 2017.
As reported by The Kansas City Star:
Humana, Inc. announced Tuesday that it would no longer offer individual marketplace health coverage in 2018 after a federal court in January upheld a Justice Department request to block its planned merger with Aetna, Inc.
In a statement, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer called Humana’s announcement “alarming” and blamed the move on GOP efforts to repeal the health law.
But a statement by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-OR, said Humana’s move “reflects the realities of a failing law.”
“Humana isn’t the first insurer to flee Obamacare, and unfortunately, they probably won’t be the last…Patients and families across the country are seeing fewer choices and facing higher costs,” Walden’s statement said.
The major insurer saw the writing on the wall…
In a statement, Humana said it will continue to provide coverage through 2017 and “remains committed to serving its current members across 11 states” where it provides individual coverage mainly through the federal marketplace at HealthCare.gov.
The Louisville-based carrier said their decision to leave the market next year was in response to 2017 marketplace enrollment data that shows “further signs of an unbalanced risk pool,” in which more younger, healthier enrollees are needed to offset the higher cost of sicker, older plan members.
One of President Trump’s promises on the campaign trail was tackling Obamacare. Although that ultimate goal is far down the road, changes were proposed on Wednesday in an effort to stabilize the market now:
“This proposal will take steps to stabilize the marketplace, provide more flexibility to states and insurers, and give patients access to more coverage options,” said Patrick Conway, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees Obamacare.
Obamacare is dealing with a major insurer pulling out (with more to come, most likely), and staggeringly low enrollment numbers. It is on life support.
President Trump and the Republican Congress have an opportunity to help millions of Americans by overhauling the disastrous ACA. Hopefully, this will be done soon.
Ultimately, though, it needs to be done well.