Debate Magazine

Humana Pulls out of ObamaCare Exchange Plans

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Going as planned…

obamacare

Via NY Post: Count it as another nail in ObamaCare’s coffin: Humana, one of the country’s top insurers, announced Thursday that it’s pulling out of ObamaCare exchange plans in all but a few states next year.

It will offer policies in “no more” than 11 state marketplaces, down from 19. The numbers don’t add up: Humana took nearly $1 billion in losses from the coverage this year. This follows the exit from the exchanges of such other giants as Cigna and UnitedHealth Group, also after outsized losses.

It’s the much-feared “death spiral”: Too many older, sicker folks are resorting to ObamaCare policies, and not enough younger, healthy folks. So the average enrollee is running up higher bills than the insurers expected — and raising rates will only scare away even more lower-cost customers.

Meanwhile, the Obama Justice Department is moving to block health-insurer mergers — including an Anthem-Cigna deal as well as Aetna’s bid to buy Humana. Why? As The Post’s Josh Kosman reports, the “move would be a blow to the president’s state-focused ObamaCare.” The White House fears the mergers would give the combined firms too much power to set rates, limiting consumer options.

Funny: The ObamaCare law encourages lots of other anti-competition mergers, of hospitals and other providers, in the name of “efficiency.” And doctors across America are giving up on traditional independent practices — as the law pushes them to do. And countless people stuck buying policies on the exchanges have been shocked at how limited their options — like choice of doctor and hospital — turn out to be.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton both used to pooh-pooh the idea of a “public option”: Government-run health insurance that’s just a step away from European-style socialized medicine. But ObamaCare’s woes have pushed both to start suggesting it may be the only answer after all.

The only answer, that is, besides replacing ObamaCare with a truly market-based system that still helps the less fortunate, but doesn’t try to dictate everything from Washington.

DCG


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