Opinion: Obamacare’s falling apart? I wonder why that might be …

Health Overhaul Undercover Probe

It was a “bleak week” for Obamacare, according to this summary from Politico:

“Obamacare’s health insurance markets are flirting with financial disaster — and that’s before Republicans have had a chance to lay their hands on the law they’ve vowed for seven years to repeal.

“The insurance markets, which have been bleeding money, have taken one hit after another this week, beginning with news that Humana would become the first major insurer to pull out of the market completely next year. Molina — which had expected a $60 million profit on the exchanges for 2016 — reported a $110 million loss on Wednesday, and will assess ongoing participation at a later date. ‘There are simply too many unknowns with the marketplace program to commit to our participation beyond 2017,’ said CEO Mario Molina.

“Other insurers are sounding alarms about the imperiled market.

“‘Death spiral’ is how influential Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini summed it up Wednesday morning, predicting that plans will flee, creating insurance deserts in swathes of the country. President Donald Trump blasted out Bertolini’s remark in a tweet.”

Let’s pause right here and take stock of the political debate about these happenings. It is a fact that these developments are the latest in a string of crippling blows to the beleaguered law going back months and months. A Trump presidency was still considered impossible back when many of these bits of bad news, and others, were emerging. And yet Democrats are taking great pains to portray this week’s news as somehow mostly about what’s happened in the past four weeks, rather than the trends set in motion months and even years earlier.

So let’s return to that Politico story and see if their claims hold up:

“The Trump administration, which hasn’t yet delivered its promised repeal and replace plan to Congress, is sending mixed signals. One minute it’s weakening Obamacare by taking steps that dampened enrollment. Another minute it’s trying to entice insurers to stick around long enough to transition to an eventual GOP replacement — but with steps that industry analysts say may fall short.

“‘I don’t know that it’s going to keep insurers in if they were otherwise inclined to exit,’ said Caroline Pearson, an expert on the Obamacare marketplaces at consulting firm Avalere Health.”

Let me reiterate the part I emphasized in that quote: The administration’s maneuvers aren’t likely “to keep insurers in (the marketplace) if they were otherwise inclined to exit.” In other words, insurers were already doubting the wisdom of remaining in the broken marketplace created by Obamacare — in largest part because of losses like those I quoted and linked above. The changes begun and still under consideration by the administration are simply not changing their minds about that.

And you know what? Those changes aren’t designed to keep insurers in a broken marketplace. They’re designed to be the first steps of scrapping and eventually replacing it. The decisions by the insurers might add pressure to Republicans to get on with the business of repeal and replace. But insurers were making those decisions based on the evident brokenness of that marketplace over the past few years. Not the lack of a solution four weeks into the new administration.

Reader Comments 0

278 comments
lvg
lvg

Which was worse - the terrorist attack in Sweden or the Bowling Green Massacre?

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

ridiculing and fighting against ACA, reducing the re-up time, constantly degrading it, saying they will repeal and replace...had nothing to do with the problems...got it! If you were paying attention, the dems said it needed tweeking, but the repubs....crickets.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Just another day of exploding heads on the left. Today it's about Sweden another Western European country that has allowed non-vetted refugees to bring crime and chaos to their country. The subversive party in this country wants to do the same here only for what they believe will be an eventual captive voting block dependent on them. Trump, stands in their way and they hate him for it.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@SGTGrit

Face it, SGT - your boy got punk'd by some fake Fox 'news.' Sad.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit Another stupidity from the Liar-in-Chief, who has become an international embarrassment. That is hardly news anymore, just like the bootlicking by his apologists. 

breckenridge
breckenridge


No terrorist incidents were reported in Sweden on Friday.

Sweden's Aftonbladet website summarised the news events of that day, which included:

  • A man setting himself on fire at a plaza in central Stockholm
  • Famous singer Owe Thornqvist suffering technical problems in rehearsals
  • A man killed in workplace accident
  • Road closures in northern Sweden due to "harsh weather"
  • A police car chase through central Stockholm after a suspected drunk driver

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@breckenridge

Trump didn't say a terrorist incident happened in Sweden on Friday.

You are fake news.

And guess what people have been talking quite a bit about since Our President Trump's remarks?  The problems uncontrolled immigration into Sweden have caused.  The country's leaders have pretty much ruined the place.

Robert1959
Robert1959

Kyle, to celebrate "Black History Month"  & "President's Day" I thought I would do you a favor and give you a 2-for-1.  Since you have never written a positive article about President Barack Obama, 1st Black American President of the United States of America 2008-2016.

If Trump's cabinet selections are a indication of how he will govern we are all in big trouble. Donald Trump must produce a plan that can be measured against the accomplishments of President Barack Obama, the 1st Black American President of the USA (2008-2016). Donald Trump must acknowledge the progress made over the past 8 years of President Obama's administration. Trump's plan should follow in the foot steps of President Obama for enacting policies that saved the USA from the greatest recession/depression ever. For example all Americans have access to healthcare (ACA). What plan does Trump have to improve or replace the ACA? The economy steadily improving and the deficit is going down quicker than expected. How will Trump stimulate the economy? The unemployment rate is down to (4.5%) nationwide. What kinds of jobs will Trump create? The real estate market is coming back quickly and stocks are at a all time high (+19,000). What strategy will Trump implement to work with Wall St? Gasoline prices at/or below $2.50 per gallon nationwide. How will Trump control our energy cost? No new foreign wars (Syria, Iran etc.). How will Trump keep the USA out of foreign wars? Donald Trump has a big wall to climb (President Barack Obama's accomplishments) before he can built a new wall on the mexican border.  
 
At the end of the day you are measured by what you produce and Donald Trump, the 1st White Nationalist POTUS (2016) is being measured by the accomplishments of President Barack Obama, the 1st Black American President of the USA (2008-2016) who will be remembered as one of the greatest POTUS in the history of the USA.  
 
The American People...  
(elderly, disabled, young, women, minorities, LGBT, Christians, Muslims & Jews, etc.)  

jeffcamaro
jeffcamaro

Just seems like conservatives have done everything they could to keep it from working for the last 4 years.  They took out the risk corridors, which would have allowed insurers to ease into it more.  They have promised and promised to repeal it--closed the government down over it even.  So who would blame an insurer for not wanting to take the leap of faith that it would still be around by this time next year?  The individual mandate was a Republican idea in the first place, in response to Hillarycare way back when.  Even Newt said we would have to have an individual mandate.  The 2012 Republican nominee got kuddos in his own home state for his version of the individual mandate.   It's a simple fact--people with health insurance die at a lessor rate than people without health insurance.  If the goal then, is to have more people with insurance,  it was the only idea we could consider, and if Republicans had put America first instead of political points, it would have succeeded and still may.

Robert1959
Robert1959

Kyle, we all can agree that you should be smarter than your racist bigot readers.  I can forgive the disenfranchised white people who read the garbage you write, but I can not forgive you.  Donald "birther" Trump, 1st white nationalist POTUS 2016 does not want to repeal or replace The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that white people have used as a racial slur - "obamacare".  Even with a GOP controlled House and Senate the republicans fear replacing obamacare with "trumpcare". Over the past 8 years the GOP have tried and failed 49 times to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

What is happening in Sweden is "work place rape," according to the left.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Journalist Ami Horowitz told Fox News people high up in the Swedish government are deliberately covering up and protecting perpetrators of rapes to protect "vulnerable" migrants.


During an explosive interview on Friday, Mr Horowitz claimed the refugee violence crisis was out of control but that "European virtues" had put a stop to any discussion on the statistics.


It's only women getting raped so the libs don't care.


President Trump cares.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@AndyManUSA#45 And the repubs are supporters of women's rights? Yeah sure. No equal pay for women doing the same job, no rights to protect their bodies and careers,...oh and there are no rapes in America? (not condoning but just making a point of cons hipocracy.)

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is still in place despite more than 8 years of Republican attack.  They do not have an alternative except to return to anarchy.  They actually would love anarchy if they could just get their own healthcare and let all those other Americans die.  The problem is, the healthcare system is standardized - make it bad for one and it will bad for you too.  Go to it Repubs - we are waiting to see what your tiny little brains will devise. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

So Trump made up a terrorist attack that did not happen in Sweden Friday night.  And he also has the Iraqis up in arms because he threatened to seize their oil.


Meanwhile in England you can place a wager on whether Trump will make it through the end of the year without getting the boot.  If he does get kicked to the curb? It only pays 4 to 1.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Chris Wallace did a nice job on Fox News today of ripping Trump.


Well........all presidents lie, some more so than others.  Both LBJ and Nixon were huge liars.  But Trump is taking lying to level not seen before in this country.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@AndyManUSA#45 And a con in the same job wants to control everything and everyone...not worried about the law or Constitution.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit Infowars? Is there a less credible source of information anywhere?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

There's both good news and bad news for Democrats. The good news is actually old news and that is though Republicans control both chambers of congress they still have a propensity for shooting themselves in the foot. The bad news is that influential Black Americans are leaving the Democrat party in droves. More bad news, the Democrats don't really have a strong hold on Hispanics and the Muslim community will never become a strong voting block. More bad news is that young voters grow up and when they do activism is lost to reality.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit Really? Black folks are becoming Republicans? The Hispanics and Muslims will forget how the Republicans treat them?

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit Your concern for the Democrats is touching. But perhaps you should be more concerned for the Trump's presidency. There is a limited amount of lies and incompetence any President can inflict on the nation before his party turns against him.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Let's eavesdrop on mike morrel, cbs news's senior security contributor-


Just because it's intelligence information that was leaked doesn't mean it was leaked by the intelligence community or CIA, right? Big difference. But he is now criticizing them. 


Yes, just this morning I was recording john mccain's phone call to the new york times with my Tandy ANY-SPY radar set. I was going to release the transcripts but all I heard was a bunch of moans and heavy breathing. A waste of my morning, indeed.


This is the sort of people that the left wing gets their information from, blooming idiots. The left wing is nothing but blooming idiots, so this blooming idiot is a left wing expert. Is it any wonder they've lost more elections than you can count?


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/02/19/morell_just_because_intelligence_information_was_leaked_does_not_mean_cia_leaked_it.html

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The first lib that answers as to why morrel is such any idiot, wins, um, something.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@AndyManUSA#45 @AvgGeorgian

See, it's like this. The WH has some bumblers and haters and infighters so any info in the WH may be leaked to reporters. Flynn lied. Did anyone else in the WH know he lied? If so, he/she could leak that info. Got it?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@AvgGeorgian @AndyManUSA#45 You libs really don't know anything, do you? If the info was given to the White House, then it would have a chain of custody attached to it and we would all know exactly who handled it. But this doesn't. It was leaked from the agency, with out following the proper protocols.


By the way, the prize for the correct answer was a million bucks. Too bad, loser.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

All call for intelligent, well read, logical conservative posters. I will never improve my posting at this rate.

breckenridge
breckenridge

The Democrats are being exposed for what they now are. An un-American subversive party.

LOL! 

What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

“The Democratic Party has changed so much that I don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said. “These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics. It strengthens people’s resolve in wanting to support President Trump. It really does.”


A registered democrat^^.


Maybe there is hope.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/opinion/sunday/are-liberals-helping-trump.html?ref=todayspaper

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @AndyManUSA#45 The Republicans (with a fe exceptions) are being exposed for what they are: Spineless, ignorant party.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@AndyManUSA#45  The Democrats are being exposed for what they now are. An un-American subversive party.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@AndyManUSA#45

So. "liberal democrats are scarier than Islamic terrorists".


This "registered democrat" fears being forced to buy insurance more than a beheading/bombing. I don't think I will be listening to his opinion. I know all I need to.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Grit - please cite a source other than intestinal extraction.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@AvgGeorgian  Maybe you are that extraction. Otherwise you would know the source.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@SGTGrit @AvgGeorgian Have bad hands, eyesight, and technical writing skills and am open to correction. usually have to edit twice before posting and sometimes after. But you sidestepped my request-ion.


Please post your rules for being an American.


I'll get you started.


1. Must capitalize correctly when posting on a blog.


2.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@AvgGeorgian @SGTGrit  No (1) is supporting a party that sets about attempting to undermine a new duly elected president of the United States. We don't need to go any further at this point, although it may.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@SGTGrit @AvgGeorgian

You still say nothing-just word/opinion soup.


Hey, when you buy gas, would it be easier if they posted the grades as good, better, best, and for tractors; or do you want a little more specific info?


Right now you sounding like: "We the best, them other guys are stupid and wrong and we more American cause we aint like them and I support everything the president does just like I supported everything Obabma did" - OOPS - there it is!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@SGTGrit @AvgGeorgian

My post was pretty funny and accurate. 


Did you support everything Obama did and said?


Or were you "un American" for 8 years?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@SGTGrit @AvgGeorgian

Okay, 


Rule  #2 for being American - you must give the president one year.


Now we're getting there on Grits rules for not being un-American.


SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@AvgGeorgian @SGTGrit  Obama had the White vote that got him through two terms.Hillary, did not have the White vote that defeated her this past November. The Democrats still don't know much less accept why she did not.