Another one bites the dust. Obamacare is doomed. If Republicans don’t come up with an effective plan for repealing, it WILL implode under its own weight. This week another stilt that was (barely) holding this house of cards up just folded.
Anthem has announced its intentions to completely exit the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2018. Anthem, which sells most policies under the Blue Cross/Blue Shield brands, will be joining several other major providers including UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.
If Donald Trump was hoping this whole Obamacare mess would collapse on its own, his wish is coming true.
United has exited most of the 34 states in which it offered plans via the ACA. Aetna announced last year that it would exit ACA exchanges in 11 of 15 states in which it operates citing a $200 million pre-tax loss in the second quarter of 2016 alone. Aetna walked away from nearly 70%t of its plans, leaving at least one U.S. county (in Arizona) completely without an ACA provider.
Think about this. In 2010 Congress (via a straight party-line vote) passed a law requiring all American citizens to purchase their products. Yet these companies are bailing out like rats on a sinking ship because they’re losing so much money? Imagine if the government forced everybody to buy whatever good or service your company or employer produces (assuming you have a job.) Would that result in your firm making or losing money? Such is what happens when government decides to get involved.
Bloomberg News files the following report:
“An exit by Anthem might be devastating to insurance markets created by the Affordable Care Act, which is often called Obamacare. The company, which sells coverage under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand in 14 states, is one of the few big insurers that has stuck with the ACA. UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc. have already exited most states, and Humana Inc. is planning to stop offering individual ACA plans entirely for 2018.
If Anthem quits, consumers in parts of Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio would be at risk of having no Obamacare insurers for next year, according to an analysis from Axios, a news website. Humana’s exit, similarly, will leave parts of Tennessee with no ACA insurance options, though state officials have said they’re working to attract other insurers.”
Fewer people covered, higher costs, many with no coverage at all and now virtually no access to even getting any.
It’s Democrats, not Republicans, who need to pray for an ACA repeal and replace. No fewer than five states now have but one provider left in their exchanges. As more and more financial responsibility gets shifted to the states, more and more providers continue to pull out, and as costs to American households continue to balloon – the inevitable is coming. Obamacare is going to drag itself to the bottom of the abyss.
Democrats are trying to sell the narrative that everyone in America loves this thing and in so doing paint those trying to repeal it as the bad guys. Poor strategy, ain’t gonna work. People remember those cancellation letters and notices of premium increases. We still remember a $30 million website that didn’t work. We remember “My plan will save the average American household $2,500 in annual insurance costs!” We remember “This bill will be drafted in full public view with CSPAN cameras in the room.” And we remember “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Period. If you like your plan you can keep your plan. Period.”
For those who don’t remember, a letter from Blue Cross/Blue Shield will soon be coming in the mail to serve as a reminder.
The longer it takes Republicans to get their acts together and come up with a fix for this thing, the worse it is for Democrats. This law, arguably the worst in U.S. history, has not a single Republican finger print on it. When it dies all by itself –which it will– Dems have to own it. Period.
And that’s good news for Trump. For now.
[Note: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn]