DEATH SPIRAL: Obamacare Begins to Implode Under Its Own Weight
Republicans may not have to repeal Obamacare, after all. The massive government program is already collapsing under the weight of its own bureaucracy.
The New York Post reports:
ObamaCare’s imploding even without repeal
It’s looking like ObamaCare won’t survive even if Congress can’t manage to repeal it.
The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, said last week that it’s losing too much — $425 million — from policies sold on the health exchanges, and may have to pull out by 2017.
The company admits it’s “a potentially huge blow” to the new system: “If a major publicly traded insurer bows out, others may follow and destabilize the entire individual market.”
Game over for ObamaCare?
UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley seems to imply just that: “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”
Mind you, UnitedHealth was a huge backer of the 2009 law. One of its top execs, Andrew Slavitt, then joined the administration to run the health exchanges.
What’s going on here? Basically, the long-feared “death spiral”: Not enough young, healthy folks are signing up for these plans, so insurers are losing money despite the hefty federal subsidies for the coverage. They’re raising premiums to even things out — but that drives even more folks away, so that only older, less-healthy customers remain, driving new losses . . .
Looking at the collapse of the ObamaCare “cooperatives” a few weeks back, Betsy McCaughey warned in these pages that the death spiral was under way.
Now here’s America’s biggest insurance provider saying pretty much the same thing. Hemsley cited weak enrollment and high medical costs for those who did sign up.
And the Obama administration itself last month predicted 2016 enrollment would be less than half of what the Congressional Budget Office predicted in March.
If only someone had warned America that this would happen.