Reply Sun 30 Nov, 2014 09:50 am
hawkeye10 wrote:

He got ObamaCare...

No he didn't.

Obamacare covered everyone affordably.

But the Supreme Court gutted it and will continue to do so.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 17 Aug, 2015 04:40 am
No it isn't. It's time for FREE healthcare.

In a government's best interest to keep its' citizens healthy enough to work and pay taxes. Does it this way for military members, should do it for everyone as non-military contribute infinitely more tax revenue to government budgets.
Reply Mon 17 Aug, 2015 06:40 am
No it isn't. It's time for FREE healthcare.

That does not exist.
Reply Tue 18 Aug, 2015 09:57 am
You can buy premium-free health insurance today and be within the Law. The problem with this however, is the patient has to pay a very large deductable upon receiving health care.

Nothing is free, today.
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2015 06:13 pm
UnitedHealth, the nation's largest health insurer, chopped its 2015 earnings forecast and indicated it is questioning its future in public insurance exchanges, a key component in the nation's health care overhaul popularly known as Obamacare.

The company said Thursday that it would pull back on the marketing of its exchange business a few weeks after open enrollment for that coverage began nationwide. It also said that it will decide in the first half of next year "to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017."

"We cannot sustain these losses," CEO Stephen Hemsley said Thursday. "We can't really subsidize a marketplace that doesn't appear at the moment to be sustaining itself."

Hemsley told investors Thursday that the company doesn't intend to take further losses from this business in 2017.


Obama's signature project is getting ready to crash and burn, because it is not viable and because it does not fix the major problems with the US Healthcare system, which almost all revolve around excessive financial costs.

Obamacare crashing next year is going to saddle the next president with an immediate huge problem, something major is going to have to be done fast. Likely that will be repeal of the entire thing, because this is too much of a mess to fix without sucking all the air out of everything else for at least a year, and we have huge other problems needing immediate attention too.
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2015 06:34 pm
The CMS released a memo (PDF) late Thursday that reiterated the federal agency's desire to pay out risk-corridor payments despite the massive shortfall in the near term.

The notice came the same day that UnitedHealth Group, the nation's largest health insurer, said it was seriously considering pulling out of the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces. UnitedHealth's announcement shocked the healthcare industry and raised questions about the stability of the exchanges.

The memo states that if health insurers are still owed money under the risk corridors program for 2016, HHS “will explore other sources of funding for risk corridors payments, subject to the availability of appropriations. This includes working with Congress on the necessary funding for outstanding risk corridors payments.”

The CMS made a similar commitment when the agency first announced it would only be paying out 12.6% of risk corridors requests for 2014 claims, leaving $2.5 billion of requested money in purgatory. The risk-corridors program, one of the three health insurance risk program established by the ACA, essentially helps mitigate insurers' losses in the early years of the new insurance marketplaces. The risk corridors program expires after 2016.

Many health insurers, especially the not-for-profit co-ops, were upset with the CMS' decision because they were banking on those payments to sustain their nascent operations. Insurers that enrolled higher numbers of sick, expensive members viewed the risk corridors as a safety net until the market and premiums stabilized. Many co-ops blamed the shortchanged payments for their closures.

However, the Republican-led Congress more or less tied the CMS' hands on risk corridors last December. The budget bill required the program to be budget-neutral.

The CMS may be trying to assuage the health insurance industry with its memo, but the agency did not provide any details about how it would actually find or negotiate funding to fully cover the risk-corridors program.

UnitedHealth is not owed any risk corridors payments for 2014 because it joined the exchange marketplaces in 2015.


The government promised the industry that most loses would be covered in the Early years, but of course there was never enough money programed to do it since Obamacare was based upon fantasy numbers.

and then there is this

This was part of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news cycle for Obamacare; as ProPublica journalist Charles Ornstein said on Twitter, "Not since 2013 have I seen such a disastrous stream of bad news headlines for Obamacare in one 24- hour stretch." Stories included not just UnitedHealth's dire warnings, but also updates in the ongoing saga of higher premiums, higher deductibles and smaller provider networks that have been coming out since open enrollment began.

It now looks pretty clear that insurers are having a very bad experience in these markets. The sizeable premium increases would have been even higher if insurers had not stepped up the deductibles and clamped down on provider networks. The future of Obamacare now looks like more money for less generous coverage than its architects had hoped in the first few years.

But of course, that doesn't mean insurers need to leave the market. Insurance is priced based on expectations; if you expect to pay out more, you just raise the price. After all, people are required to buy the stuff, on pain of a hefty penalty. How hard can it be to make money in this market?

What UnitedHealth's action suggests is that the company is not sure it can make money in this market at any price. Executives seem to be worried about our old enemy, the adverse selection death spiral, where prices go up and healthier customers drop out, which pushes insurers' costs and customers' prices up further, until all you've got is a handful of very sick people and a huge number of very expensive claims.

Some commentators, including me, worried a lot about death spirals in the early days of the disastrous exchange rollout. Some commentators, also including me, have eased off on those fears in recent years. Why the change? Because when the law was passed, I was mostly focused on whether the mandate penalty would be enough to encourage people to buy insurance. Over time, as the exchanges evolved, the subsidies, and the open enrollment limitations, started to look a lot more important than the penalty.

Most of the people buying exchange policies are subsidized, so to them, it doesn't much matter whether their premiums go up, because the price of the cheaper plans is capped as a percentage of their income. And it's dangerous to just buy insurance when you get sick, because unless you meet a handful of qualifications, you can buy only once a year, which means you might have to go without insurance for months after a cancer diagnosis or bad auto accident.

To be sure, over the long term, that could change, because the subsidy calculation has a weird time bomb in it. Right now, subsidies are calculated so as to make the second-cheapest Silver plan on the exchange cost a fixed percentage of your income, or less. That percentage is calculated on a sliding scale -- low for people near the federal poverty line, and rising to around 10 percent for folks making closer to four times the baseline. (People who make more than that aren't eligible for subsidies.) But the moment that subsidies start costing the government more than 0.504% of GDP, which would currently be about $85 billion, the expenditure is supposed to be capped, which would mean that subsidies would have to be decreased or withdrawn for some folks.

So concerns about the death spiral never quite went away. But they did recede, because, thanks to lower-than-expected enrollment, subsidy expenditures are supposed to come well below $30 billion this year. It's unlikely that we'll hit the trigger until 2019 or later, if indeed we ever do.

But on the conference call, Stephen Helmsley, the CEO of UnitedHealth, expressed concerns that the exchanges were seeing adverse selection anyway. Not just that the Obamacare insurance pool is sicker and more expensive than expected, which we already knew. But that the pool is experiencing adverse selection over the course of the year, as healthy people stop paying their premiums, and sicker people buy in. According to Helmsley, the people who bought insurance from them through the exchange, but outside of the open enrollment period, are averaging about 20 percent more expensive than the rest of the pool.

This is potentially extremely bad news for Obamacare.
That said, strategic positioning is obviously far from the whole story, or even the majority of it. UnitedHealth really is losing money on these policies right now. It really is seeing something that looks dangerously like adverse selection. And frankly, there's not that much the company can get out of regulators at this point, because the Congressional Republicans have cut off the flow of funds. So while Obamacare certainly isn't dead, or certain to spiral to its death, it's got some very worrying symptoms.

0 Replies
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2015 11:09 am
Ms Clinton, once she's in office, will modify Obamacare to the point, it's unrecognizable. In addition, she'll modify Social Security and finally, as the first woman President of the US, she'll fund medicalresearch in women's health care to new heights...at last!

Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2015 04:27 pm
Your right. As I remember it she advocated for single payer insurance.
0 Replies

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