President Obama’s signature legislation, the “Affordable Care Act” or Obamacare takes another hit as those who were promised they could “Keep their plan” are finding out that’s just not the case. Highmark Inc, Pennsylvania’s largest insurers has announced this week they will be pulling out of the “health care marketplace” in 27 Counties in the state in 2017. This move will leave approximately 70% of those currently covered under their plans without health insurance come January.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune:
The insurer’s withdrawal from the counties contributes to a reduction in competition across Pennsylvania after insurers Aetna and UnitedHealthcare withdrew completely from the 2017 market in the state. Eleven Western Pennsylvania counties will have only one insurer on the marketplace for 2017, leaving consumers less protected from rate increases and limited plan choices.
The Affordable Care Act continues to be a disaster for all of those involved, the patients, the insurance companies and the health care providers. Between the rising costs and limited choices, it’s near the tipping point of breaking down without any additional assistance from Republicans.
The disconnect is felt each time Obama proclaims that his signature project is a raging success, when headlines and bottom line reveal the opposite is true.
For the average person the costs alone have risen steadily since it’s inception, and this sentence appears to explain the mystery:
Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said she approved rate hikes averaging 50 percent for Highmark’s marketplace plans to prevent the insurer from abandoning the marketplace altogether.
When the commissioner is practically bribing the participants to stay in by allowing them to increase rates an average of 50%, it’s no wonder the cost of existing plans went up, as have deductibles. Even with this incredible government approved gouging, insurance companies are still losing money on the deal after doubling the rates of their clients. Nearly all of the participating companies have reported unrecoverable losses, while I feel no sympathy for these companies that supported Obamacare during it’s creation. It’s little solace that their chickens are coming home to roost at the expense of Americans everywhere.
Highmark has previously sued the Federal Government in an attempt to recover losses that they claim topped $800 Million from just 2014 alone. Obama’s pet project has turned into the colossal failure, many predicted it would, now about 15% of citizens in Pennsylvania will join the ranks of the uninsured.
Repealing ObamaCare at the federal level would do much to relieve the pressure facing statewide market place providers, but that will require a Congress filled with enough Republicans to dismantle the law completely.
While some may be uninspired by the Presidential choices this year, the rising costs of Obamacare have made the House and Senate races more important than portrayed. Regardless of who is at the top of the ticket, the very real life effects of Obamacare may play a larger role on Tuesday’s outcome, especially in swing states like Pennsylvania.