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Six Years Of ObamaCare Failure

- March 22, 2016

6 Years After Obama Enacted His Signature Law, ObamaCare Continues To Fail The People He Promised To Help

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Six years ago today, on March 23, 2010, Obamacare was signed into law but despite Obama's promises to reduce premiums, health insurance premiums have risen 38 percent for the average family since Obama took office.
  • Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are so high, many are postponing or not receiving needed health care.
  • Many are opting to pay the ObamaCare penalty over signing up for the expensive insurance plans under the law.
  • Insurers are losing so much money on the Obamacare exchanges, they are seeking to exit the marketplace completely.
  • Over half of the ObamaCare co-ops have failed and are not expected to repay the $1.2 billion in taxpayer-backed loans they received.
  • The employer mandate is forcing Americans into part-time work.
  • Hillary Clinton lauds ObamaCare, touting: "Before it was called ObamaCare, it was HillaryCare."

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Six Years Ago Today, On March 23, 2010, ObamaCare Was Signed Into Law. "On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. The law put in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that put consumers back in charge of their health care. A new wave of powerful evidence points to one clear conclusion: The Affordable Care Act is working to make health care more affordable, accessible and of a higher quality, for families, seniors, businesses, and taxpayers alike. This includes previously uninsured Americans, and Americans who had insurance that didn't provide them adequate coverage and security." ( Department Of Health And Human Services, Accessed 3/22/16)

CNBC Headline: "Obamacare's Troubled 6th Birthday: Affordability Still A Worry." (Bertha Coombs, "Obamacare's Troubled 6th Birthday: Affordability Still A Worry," CNBC, 1/9/16)

DESPITE OBAMA'S PROMISES, UNDER OBAMACARE PREMIUMS ARE RISING BY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

FLASHBACK: As A Candidate, Obama Promised That His Health Reforms Would Save American Families $2,500 By The End Of His First Term. OBAMA: "If you are ready for change, then we can stop talking about the outrage of 47 million people without health insurance and start doing something about it. I've put forward a plan that says everybody will have the same health care if they want it that I have as a member of Congress, that you can't be excluded for pre-existing conditions, we'll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available prices. If you're 25 or younger you can stay on your parents' health insurance. If you've got health insurance, we're going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2500 per family per year. And we will not wait 20 years from now to do it or 10 years from now to do it. We will do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Columbus, OH, 2/27/08)

Since Obama Took Office In 2008, Annual Premiums For Families Increased $4,865, Or 38 Percent. In 2008, annual premiums for families was $12,680. In 2015, annual premiums for families was $17,545. ("2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey," Kaiser Family Foundation , 9/23/15)

Wall Street Journal: Premiums Under The Affordable Care Act Are Rising. "Many people signing up for 2016 health policies under the Affordable Care Act face higher premiums, fewer doctors and skimpier coverage, which threatens the appeal of the program for the healthy customers it needs." (Louise Radnofsky and Paul Overberg, "Health-Plan Rates Vary Widely, But Most Popular Have Jumped From 2015," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/15)

Insurers Say They Are Forced To Raise Premiums Due To ObamaCare's Provisions. "Insurers have raised premiums steeply for the most popular plans at the same time they have boosted out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance in many of their offerings. The companies attribute the moves in part to the high cost of some customers they are gaining under the law, which doesn't allow them to bar clients with existing health conditions." (Louise Radnofsky and Paul Overberg, "Health-Plan Rates Vary Widely, But Most Popular Have Jumped From 2015," The Wall Street Journal, 11/18/15)

In 2016, Millions Of Americans Are Facing Large Premium Increases Due To ObamaCare

Obama Administration: On Average, Premiums Rose 7.5 Percent In 2016. "Across all 37 states that used the HealthCare.gov platform, the cost of the benchmark plan will increase on average 7.5 percent in 2016. For those consumers who live in 30 of the largest markets representing more than 60 percent of total enrollment, the average increase in premiums for the benchmark plan is 6.3 percent for the second-lowest cost silver plan. These increases do not take into account advanced payments of premium tax credits, which lower the monthly costs for the overwhelming majority of Marketplace consumers." ("2016 Marketplace Affordability Snapshot," Center For Medicare And Medicaid Services , 10/26/15)

In Three States, Premiums Rose By Over 30 Percent For Second Lowest Cost Silver Plans On ObamaCare Exchanges. ("2016 Marketplace Affordability Snapshot," Center For Medicare And Medicaid Services , 10/26/15)

Health Insurers "Underestimated How Sick Health Law Enrollees Would Be." "Insurance markets are complicated. But the story of Obamacare's 2016 premium increase is actually pretty simple: Many health plans - even those with decades of experience selling insurance - underestimated how sick health law enrollees would be." (Sarah Kliff, "Why Obamacare Premiums Are Spiking In 2016," Vox, 12/14/15)

"Now Insurers Are Raising Their Rates To Make Sure Premiums Do Cover Claims. In Some States, That Means Double-Digit Rate Hikes." " This meant that in 2014, many insurers spent more paying out medical bills than members paid in premiums. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska lost $9 million covering just under 8,000 Obamacare enrollees that year. In Colorado, Rocky Mountain HMO found medical bills to be about 36 percent higher than premiums. Now insurers are raising their rates to make sure premiums do cover claims. In some states, that means double-digit rate hikes." (Sarah Kliff, "Why Obamacare Premiums Are Spiking In 2016," Vox, 12/14/15)

33 Of The 37 States Participating In The Federal Exchange Saw Rate Hikes For 2016

Area

Year-To-Year Change

2016 Final Second-Lowest Cost Silver

HealthCare.gov Average

7.5%

Alabama

12.6%

Alaska

31.5%

Arizona

17.5%

Arkansas

4.3%

Delaware

18.3%

Florida

1.2%

Georgia

6.1%

Illinois

6.1%

Indiana

-12.6%

Iowa

12.8%

Kansas

16.1%

Louisiana

8.6%

Maine

-1.2%

Michigan

1.2%

Mississippi

-8.2%

Missouri

10.4%

Montana

34.5%

Nebraska

11.8%

New Hampshire

5.1%

New Jersey

5.0%

New Mexico

25.8%

Nevada

8.1%

North Carolina

22.8%

North Dakota

8.9%

Ohio

-0.7%

Oklahoma

35.7%

Oregon

22.9%

Pennsylvania

10.9%

South Carolina

10.8%

South Dakota

24.7%

Tennessee

23.4%

Texas

5.1%

Utah

15.8%

Virginia

4.0%

West Virginia

18.5%

Wisconsin

4.7%

Wyoming

5.6%

("2016 Marketplace Affordability Snapshot," Center For Medicare And Medicaid Services , 10/26/15)

SKYROCKETING OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ARE FORCING AMERICANS TO DELAY CARE

ObamaCare Created "Complex New Health Insurance Products Featuring Legions Of Out-Of Pocket Coinsurance Fees, High Deductibles And Narrow Provider Networks." "The Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era of complex new health insurance products featuring legions of out-of-pocket coinsurance fees, high deductibles and narrow provider networks." (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Insured, But Not Covered," The New York Times, 2/7/15)

  • ObamaCare's Higher Costs Have Led To Increased Deductibles. "Some employers also increased their deductibles to reduce the higher costs associated with the law." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds," The New York Times , 9/22/15)

Average Deductibles Have Increased From "$900 In 2010 For An Individual Plan To Above $1,300" In 2015 While Small Business Employees Have Even Higher Deductibles. "Those workers' deductibles have climbed from a yearly average of $900 in 2010 for an individual plan to above $1,300 this year, while employees working for small businesses have an even higher average of $1,800 a year." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds," The New York Times , 9/22/15)

  • "One In Five Workers Has A Deductible Of $2,000 Or More." (Reed Abelson, "Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds," The New York Times , 9/22/15)

Health Plan Deductibles Increased 9 Percent In 2015, Far Outpacing "Wage Growth And Overall Inflation." "American workers saw their out-of-pocket medical costs jump again this year, as the average deductible for an employer-provided health plan surged nearly 9% in 2015 to more than $1,000, a major new survey of employers shows. The annual increase, though lower than in previous years', far outpaced wage growth and overall inflation and marked the continuation of a trend that in just a few years has dramatically shifted healthcare costs to workers." (Noam N. Levey, "Health Care Costs Rise Again, And The Burden Continues To Shift To Workers," Los Angeles Times, 9/22/15)

Soaring Health Care Deductibles Are Forcing Americans To Forego Care

ObamaCare's High Deductibles Are Leaving Many ObamaCare Consumers Paying For Insurance That They Can't Afford To Use. "Obama administration officials, urging people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, have trumpeted the low premiums available on the law's new marketplaces. But for many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

  • Knoxville News Sentinel's Nathan Nascimento: "What Good Is Health Insurance Coverage If You Can't Afford To Use It?" "What good is health insurance coverage if you can't afford to use it? Unfortunately, that's a rhetorical question. It's one facing thousands of Tennesseeans who are required to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. As if rising premiums - which increased by an average of 35.2 percent in Tennessee this year - weren't already hard enough, skyrocketing deductibles have rendered many plans 'all but useless,' according to a recent report in The New York Times." (Nathan Nascimento, Op-Ed, "High deductibles make insurance via ACA unusable," Knoxville News Sentinel , 3/12/16)

According To A Review By The New York Times, "In Many States, More Than Half The Plans Offered For Sale" On The ObamaCare Exchange "Have A Deductible Of $3,000 Or More." " In many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more, a New York Times review has found. Those deductibles are causing concern among Democrats - and some Republican detractors of the health law, who once pushed high-deductible health plans in the belief that consumers would be more cost-conscious if they had more of a financial stake or skin in the game." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

  • "The Internal Revenue Service Defines A High-Deductible Health Plan As One With An Annual Deductible Of At Least $1,300 For Individual Coverage Or $2,600 For Family Coverage." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

Many Families Are Foregoing Needed Medical Care Due To High Deductibles. "Nearly 30 percent of people insured through the federal marketplace who had deductibles higher than $1,500 went without needed medical care in 2014 because they could not afford it, according to Families USA, a health care consumer group based in Washington. That includes diagnostic tests, treatments, and follow-up care as well as prescription drugs." (Tracy Jan, "Critics Say High Deductibles Make Insurance 'Unaffordable,'" The Boston Globe , 11/16/15)

  • A Former Hardware Salesman From New Jersey Said His High Deductible "Makes It Impossible" To Visit The Doctor. "'The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor,' said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. 'We have insurance, but can't afford to use it.'" (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)
  • High Deductibles Forced A North Texas Family To Drop Their Health Policy With The Father Saying, "We Could Not Afford The Deductible … Basically I Was Paying For Insurance I Could Not Afford To Use." "'We could not afford the deductible,' said Kevin Fanning, 59, who lives in North Texas, near Wichita Falls. 'Basically I was paying for insurance I could not afford to use.' He dropped his policy. Mr. Fanning, the North Texan, said he and his wife had a policy with a monthly premium of about $500 and an annual deductible of about $10,000 after taking account of financial assistance. Their income is about $32,000 a year. The Fannings dropped the policy in July after he had a one-night hospital stay and she had tests for kidney problems, and the bills started to roll in." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)
  • An Illinois Family Pays For Its Medical Expenses Out Of Pocket Due To Their High Deductible. "'Our deductible is so high, we practically pay for all of our medical expenses out of pocket,' said Wendy Kaplan, 50, of Evanston, Ill. 'So our policy is really there for emergencies only, and basic wellness appointments.' Her family of four pays premiums of $1,200 a month for coverage with an annual deductible of $12,700." (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)
  • An ObamaCare Consumer From Albuquerque, NM Exclaimed Her Policy Is "A Catastrophic Policy" As Her Deductible Is $6,000. "Josie Gibb of Albuquerque pays about $400 a month in premiums, after subsidies, for a silver-level insurance plan with a deductible of $6,000. 'The deductible,' she said, 'is so high that I have to pay for everything all year - visits with a gynecologist, a dermatologist, all blood work, all tests. It's really just a catastrophic policy.'" (Robert Pear, "Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All But Useless," The New York Times , 11/14/15)

Out-Of-Pocket Costs Are Forcing ObamaCare Consumers To Drop Coverage Altogether. "Cost concerns have lead tens of thousands of the newly insured to drop their Affordable Care Act plans and opt for free or discounted care at community health clinics. Consumer advocates worry that the numbers will increase as the trend toward high deductibles worsens." (Tracy Jan, "Critics Say High Deductibles Make Insurance 'Unaffordable,'" The Boston Globe , 11/16/15)

OBAMA BROKE HIS PROMISE TO BRING DOWN HEALTH CARE COSTS "FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY"

FLASHBACK: Obama Promised His Plan Would "Bring Down Costs For The Entire Country By Making Our Health Care System More Efficient Through Better Technology And More Emphasis On Prevention." OBAMA: "My plan would not only guarantee that every uninsured American could get the same kind of health care that Members of Congress give themselves, it would bring down premiums by $2500 for the typical family, and bring down costs for the entire country by making our health care system more efficient through better technology and more emphasis on prevention." (Barack Obama, Remarks At An Economic Roundtable With Democratic Governors, Chicago, IL, 6/20/08)

Despite Obama's Promises, Health Care Costs And Spending Continues To Increase

In 2014, Health Care Spending In The United States Grew At A Rate Of 5.3 Percent To $3.0 Trillion, Or $9,523 Per Person." "A new analysis from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that in 2014, health care spending in the United States grew at a rate of 5.3 percent to $3.0 trillion, or $9,523 per person. The previous five years saw historically low growth, which averaged 3.7 percent; in 2013, growth was 2.9 percent." (Lucy Larner, "Health Affairs Web First: National Health Spending Growth Accelerates In 2014," Health Affairs Blog, 12/2/15)

"Over The Next Decade, Health Care Costs Are Expected To Rise By 5.8 Percent Annually." "Health care spending is rising at a faster clip than at any time since the Great Recession, with costs ticking up by 5.5 percent in 2014, CMS announced Tuesday. Over the next decade, health care costs are expected to rise by 5.8 percent annually, according to the agency's latest projections. The growth in spending is being driven by the coverage expansion provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the continuing economic recovery and a population that's steadily aging." (Paul Demko, "Health Care Spending Again Accelerating," Politico, 7/28/15)

Obama Administration: Premiums Rising 7.5 Percent For 2016. "No matter how you slice the numbers, Obamacare premiums will rise significantly next year. The Obama administration estimates rates will rise 7.5 percent in 2016, compared with 2 percent in 2015." (Sarah Kliff, "Why Obamacare Premiums Are Spiking In 2016," Vox, 12/14/15)

AS OBAMACARE CONTINUES TO MISS ENROLLMENT GOALS, AMERICANS ARE CHOOSING TO PAY THE PENALTY INSTEAD OF GETTING INSURANCE

The Obamacare Enrollees At The End Of 2015 Was 3.5 Percent Below The Administration's Goal . "The number of ObamaCare enrollees at the end of 2015 fell about 3.5 percent below the administration's target, according to government figures released Friday. The administration's target was for 9.1 million people to have 'effectuated' coverage at the end of 2015, meaning they were paying their premiums. However, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that 8.8 million people were enrolled at the end of the year instead." (Peter Sullivan, "2015 Obamacare Enrollment Falls Slightly Short Of Target," The Hill, 3/11/16)

Last Year, 25 Percent Of Enrollees Dropped Their Plans By The End Of The Year. "The administration's target was for 9.1 million people to have 'effectuated' coverage at the end of 2015, meaning they were paying their premiums. However, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Friday that 8.8 million people were enrolled at the end of the year instead. That is a drop of almost 25 percent compared to the 11.7 million people who were signed up at the beginning of 2015." (Peter Sullivan, "2015 Obamacare Enrollment Falls Slightly Short Of Target," The Hill, 3/11/16)

Despite The Penalty Doubling In 2016, Many Americans Opt To Pay The Penalty For Not Having Health Insurance Because It Is Cheaper Than The Least Expensive Insurance Available To Them

FactCheck.org: ObamaCare "Falls Short Of Making Health Care 'Affordable And Available To Every Single American,' As Promised." "Furthermore, the law falls short of making health care 'affordable and available to every single American,' as promised. The law provides subsidies to help some Americans buy insurance, expands Medicaid and doesn't allow insurance companies to exclude persons with preexisting conditions. But still, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected 23 million persons will remain uninsured - some because they can't afford coverage." (D'Angelo Gore, "Promises, Promises," Fact Check.org, 1/4/12)

For An Individual Without Health Insurance, ObamaCare Has Raised The Penalty From $95 Per Adult In 2014 To $695 Per Adult For 2016. "The health law requires people without health insurance to either pay a penalty when they file taxes or to claim an exemption. Last year, the penalty was $95 per adult or 1 percent of household income, whichever was greater. This year it is rising to $325 per adult or 2 percent of household income, and for 2016, it will increase to $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income." (Abby Goodnough, "Americans Who Don't Buy Health Coverage Face Heftier Fine In '16, Analysis Finds," The New York Times , 12/9/15)

  • Obamacare Fines Increase By An Average Of 47 Percent For Uninsured Families. "Households that opt to go without health insurance in 2016 are set to get hit with an average Obamacare fine of $969. That is 47 percent higher than the average $661 penalty per uninsured household for this year, a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed Wednesday." (Dan Managan, "That Obamacare Penalty Will Be Bigger Than You Think," CNBC, 12/9/15)

Despite The Penalty Skyrocketing, Half Of Uninsured Individuals Reported Trying To Get Coverage But Finding It Too Expensive. "The pressure of rising fines is butting up against the economic situations of uninsured people, nearly half of whom said in a recent Kaiser poll that they've tried but coverage is still too expensive. A big sore point has to do with high deductibles for many health-law insurance plans, which can leave consumers with thousands of dollars in medical bills." ("Health Care Fines Press Millennials As Deadline Nears," The Associated Press , 1/27/16)

7.1 Million Of The Uninsured Save Money Going Uninsured And Paying The Penalty Rather Than Buying The Least Expensive Marketplace Plan. "But 7.1 million people who are currently uninsured would pay more money if they bought the least-expensive health insurance plans available during the current open enrollment season than they would if they just paid the penalty, Kaiser said." (Dan Managan, "That Obamacare Penalty Will Be Bigger Than You Think," CNBC, 12/9/15)

The Combination Of Premiums And Deductibles Can Exceed $10,000, Making The Penalty Seem Like A Deal. "Many holdouts have made their decisions after meticulously comparing the cost of insurance premiums and deductibles with paying for doctor appointments, lab tests and prescriptions themselves. For some healthy people, the combined cost of premiums and deductibles, which can exceed $10,000, makes the penalty seem a better deal." (Abby Goodnough, "Many See I.R.S. Penalties As More Affordable Than Insurance," The New York Times, 1/3/16)

OBAMA SOLD OBAMACARE AS BY PROMISING AMERICANS THEY CAN "KEEP THEIR PLAN," NOW AMERICANS ARE BEING TOLD TO "SHOP AROUND"

FLASHBACK: Obama Promised That "If You've Got A Health Care Plan That You Like, You Can Keep It." " Barack Obama defended his health care plan during a debate in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 7, 2008. His opponents have attacked his plan as 'government-run' health care. 'No. 1, let me just repeat, if you've got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it,' Obama said. 'All I'm going to do is help you to lower the premiums on it. You'll still have choice of doctor.'" (Angie Drobinic Holan, "Obama's Plan Expands Existing System," PolitiFact, 10/9/08)

When Struggling Americans Face High Costs, What's Clinton And Obama's Response? Just Shop Around

Obama To Consumers: "Just Shop Around." "'If you're getting one of these letters [canceling a plan], just shop around in the new marketplace. That's what it's for,' Obama said. Of course, getting new plans through the exchanges so far has been easier said than done: As Obama spoke, the Healthcare.gov site was not usable due to a Verizon data hosting problem." (Garance Franke-Ruta, "Obama To People With Canceled Plans: 'Just Shop Around In The New Marketplace'" The Atlantic , 10/30/16)

At A Town Hall, Clinton Told A Woman To Just "Keep Shopping" To Avoid Her High Premiums. CLINTON: "OK. Well, first of all, let me say I want very much to get the costs down, and that is going to be my mission, because I do think that for many, many people, but there are exceptions like what you are telling me, having the Affordable Care Act has reduced costs, has created a real guarantee of insurance, because if you'd had a pre-existing condition under the old system, you wouldn't have gotten affordable insurance. So it has done a lot of really good things, but, it has become increasingly clear that we are going to have to get the costs down. And what I would like to see happen for you and your family is that if we can get the co-pays down, the deductibles down, get the prescription drug costs under control, that you would find an affordable plan on your exchange. And one thing that I would like you to do, and I'm not saying it's going to make a difference, but I would like you to just go shopping on that exchange. As I understand it, Ohio has the federal exchange, is that right, Joyce? Because they did not set up a state exchange. So you have the federal exchange. And to go on and keep looking to see what the prices are, because we have to get more competition back into the insurance market. One thing that I want to work on with my friends from Congress who are here is we've got the get more non-profits that are capable of selling insurance back into the insurance market. You know, Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be non-profits. And then they transferred themselves into for-profit companies. And there was some effort made under the Affordable Care Act to get some competition from non-profit institutions, some of them worked and a lot of them didn't. I want to know what we can do, because if you could get a range of insurers, some of who were not-for-profit companies, that would lower costs. So there is a number of things I am looking at. And what I want to assure you and your family of is I will do everything I can as president, working with members of Congress where necessary, to try to get the costs down. But I do want you to keep shopping, because what you are telling me is much higher than what I hear from other families, and so I want to be sure that if there is a better option out there for you, you're going to be able to take advantage of it. " ( Remarks At Democratic Presidential Primary Town Hall , Columbus, Ohio, 3/13/16)

Click To Watch

Obama Administration: 86 Percent Of Those In The Federal Exchange Should Switch Their Policy For 2016 To Avoid Premium Hikes. "The Obama administration is encouraging switching as a way to avoid steep increases in premiums - and to promote competition among insurers, as the law intends. Next year will be no different: The price of plans will rise in most states, and the administration says that 86 percent of people who currently have coverage through the federal exchange can find a better deal by switching." (Abby Goodnough, "Shopping For Health Insurance Is New Seasonal Stress For Many," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

Georgetown Professor Says Switching Plans Every Year May Be The "'New Normal.'" "'This may be just one of those environments where there's a new normal,' said Sabrina Corlette, a professor at the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University. For many consumers, the volatility in the markets has been a source of anxiety and disruption. To have any choice at all is a welcome development, many say. But switching plans is also becoming an unwelcome ritual, akin to filing taxes, that is time-consuming and can entail searching for new doctors and hospitals each year." (Abby Goodnough, "Shopping For Health Insurance Is New Seasonal Stress For Many," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

OBAMACARE CO-OPS ARE FAILING AT AN ALARMING RATE WITH LITTLE HOPE OF RECOVERING THE 1.2 BILLION IN TAXPAYER LOANS THEY RECEIVED

ObamaCare's Co-Ops Have Been "Collapsing" At A "Rapid Clip." "Health cooperatives are collapsing at such a rapid clip that some co-ops and small insurers are forming a coalition to consider legal action to try to change health-law provisions they blame for their financial distress." (Stephanie Armour, "More Health Co-Ops Face Collapse," The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/15)

  • "Twelve Of The 23 Co-Ops, Set Up Under Obamacare To Compete With Larger Private Insurers, Have Gone Out Of Business Due To Financial Problems." (Peter Sullivan, "Lawmakers Grill Obamacare Official Over Co-Op Failures," The Hill, 1/21/16)

Co-Ops "Were A Compromise" With Single-Payer Advocates To Garner Support For ObamaCare In The Congress. "When the ACA was enacted in 2010, the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans were a compromise to appease congressional liberals who had wanted a new public insurance program for Americans unable to get health benefits at work." (Amy Goldstein, "Financial Health Shaky At Many ObamaCare Insurance Co-Ops," The Washington Post , 10/10/15)

Co-Op Failures Will Cost Taxpayers $1.2 Billion

The 12 Failed Co-Ops "Ran Up More Than $1.4 Billion In Losses" Over Just Two Years. "The financial toll of this failed experiment is much steeper than has been previously reported. The twelve closed CO-OPs ran up more than $1.4 billion in losses over just the two years they sold plans. Based on the latest balance sheets obtained by the Subcommittee, the failed CO-OPs' currently estimated non-loan liabilities (including unpaid medical bills) exceed $1.13 billion-which is 93% greater than their $585 million in reported assets. In addition, the CO-OPs' debt to the U.S. government stands at over $1.2 billion. Prospects for repayment are dim." ("Failure Of The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance CO-Ops," Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs' Subcommittee On Investigations , 3/10/16)

  • $1.2 Billion Of The Money Lost Are Loans From The Federal Government. "Twelve of those 23 CO-OPs have now failed, leaving 740,000 people in 14 states searching for new coverage and leaving the taxpayer little hope of recovering the $1.2 billion in loans HHS disbursed to those failed insurance businesses." ("Failure Of The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance CO-Ops," Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs' Subcommittee On Investigations , 3/10/16)
  • CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt Said The Administration Was Working To Recover The Loans But Admitted They Did Not Expect To Get All Of The Money Back. "Slavitt said that CMS is working with the Department of Justice on recovering the loans to failed co-ops, but the administration has acknowledged that it will not get all of the money back. Paying the federal government back, as opposed to claims or other expenses, tends to be a low priority for a co-op in receivership." (Peter Sullivan, "Lawmakers Grill Obamacare Official Over Co-Op Failures," The Hill, 1/21/16)

The Senate Report Discovered That The Co-Ops Lost "Money At Rates Far Worse Than Their Worst-Case Projections" And HHS "Barely Used The Corrective Action Or Enhanced Oversight Tools Available To It." "The Subcommittee's investigation focused on HHS's decision to approve the failed CO-OPs and HHS's management and monitoring of its multibillion-dollar CO-OP loan portfolio. The investigation reveals that HHS approved the failed CO-OPs notwithstanding flaws in their business plans. Once the CO-OPs began losing money at rates far worse than their worst-case projections, HHS barely used the corrective action or enhanced oversight tools available to it. HHS eventually approved additional solvency loans in an attempt to save failing CO-OPs, but again did so despite obvious warning signs. The end result was to exacerbate losses that will now be shouldered by taxpayers, doctors, and others - even as more than 700,000 consumers were forced to find new health insurance plans." ("Failure Of The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance CO-Ops," Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs' Subcommittee On Investigations , 3/10/16)

  • By The End Of 2014, Cumulative Losses For The CO-OP's Were Four Times Greater Than The Expected Amount, Exceeding Even The Worst Case Scenario. "Cumulatively, by the end of 2014, the failed CO-OPs exceeded their projected worst-case-scenario losses by at least $263.7 million-- four times greater than the expected amount. The CO-OPs' enrollment numbers were similarly alarming. According to the 2014 reports they submitted to HHS, five of the failed CO-OPs dramatically underperformed enrollment expectations (leading to insufficient income for premiums), while five others overshot their enrollment projections (which also causes losses due to underpriced premiums). HHS was aware of these problems in early 2014, but took no corrective action and continued to disburse loans to the distressed CO-OPs." ("Failure Of The Affordable Care Act Health Insurance CO-Ops," Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs' Subcommittee On Investigations , 3/10/16)

INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE FLEEING THE OBAMACARE EXCHANGES

Insurers Are Losing Millions In The ObamaCare Exchanges …

"UnitedHealthCare Group, The Nation's Largest Insurer, Is Upping Its Projected Losses From Obamacare Even As Its Overall Fourth-Quarter Earnings Beat Investors' Expectations." "UnitedHealthCare Group, the nation's largest insurer, is upping its projected losses from ObamaCare even as its overall fourth-quarter earnings beat investors' expectations. The company lost $720 million on the newly established ObamaCare exchanges last year, according to a much-anticipated earnings report released Tuesday. About one-third of those losses are due to "advance recognition" of 2016 losses, the company said." (Sarah Ferris, "United Lost $720M On Obamacare Exchanges Last Year," The Hill, 1/19/16)

  • "The Company Lost $720 Million On The Newly Established ObamaCare Exchanges Last Year." "The company lost $720 million on the newly established ObamaCare exchanges last year, according to a much-anticipated earnings report released Tuesday. About one-third of those losses are due to 'advance recognition' of 2016 losses, the company said." (Sarah Ferris, "United Lost $720M On Obamacare Exchanges Last Year," The Hill, 1/19/16)

Humana Lost 30 Percent Of Profits In The Fourth Quarter Of 2015 . "The Kentucky-based insurance company, which is expected to be taken over by rival Aetna later this year, said that profits fell 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. It reported a net income of $101 million in that quarter, down from $145 million the previous year, according to Forbes." (Taylor Tyler, "Obamacare: Humana Considering Withdrawing From Health Care Marketplace," Headlines And Global News, 2/10/16)

ObamaCare Costs Have Caused A 64 Percent Year Over Year Drop In Profits For Insurer Anthem. "Insurance giant Anthem has said the same thing, even though Obamacare hurt its profitability in 2015. The insurer said Wednesday that profits in the fourth quarter dropped by 64 percent from a year earlier. Contributing to the drop was the increased cost to provide care to Obamacare enrollees, the company said." (Robert King, "More Obamacare Insurer Losses Coming," Washington Examiner, 2/1/16)

Aetna Has Reported Losing Money On The Exchange. "Many insurers, including Aetna, have been losing money on the ObamaCare marketplaces, also known as exchanges, in part because of a sicker and more costly mix of enrollees, known as the 'risk pool.'" (Peter Sullivan, "Aetna Voices 'Serious Concerns' On Obamacare Sustainability," The Hill, 2/1/16)

Cigna Reports Not Making Any Money On The Exchanges. "Cigna also said last year that so far it has not made any money in Obamacare, but will remain in the exchanges." (Robert King, "More Obamacare Insurer Losses Coming," Washington Examiner, 2/1/16)

… Leading Them To Consider Leaving The Marketplace

Aetna CEO: "We Continue To Have Serious Concerns About The Sustainability Of The Public Exchanges." "'We continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges,' Mark Bertolini said on an earnings call Monday, according to prepared remarks." (Peter Sullivan, "Aetna Voices 'Serious Concerns' On Obamacare Sustainability," The Hill, 2/1/16)

  • Aetna Says It Is In "Wait-And-See Mode." "An Aetna official told Bloomberg News on Monday that it has not become more pessimistic since those comments, and that it is still in a wait-and-see mode." (Peter Sullivan, "Aetna Voices 'Serious Concerns' On Obamacare Sustainability," The Hill, 2/1/16)

United Is Currently Determining It's Participation In The Marketplace In 2017. "David Wichmann, chief financial officer for UnitedHealth Group, reiterated on Tuesday that the company is still determining whether to participate in the marketplace. 'By mid-2016 we will determine to what extent, if any, we will continue to offer products in the exchange market in 2017,' Wichmann said during a conference call with investors." (Sarah Ferris, "United Lost $720M On Obamacare Exchanges Last Year," The Hill, 1/19/16)

While It Will Remain In The Exchange For Now, Cigna Participation In The Marketplace Has Been Nonprofitable. "On Feb. 4, Cigna will provide its results. It already has hinted at a January investor conference that the number of individual market customers declined. Cigna also said last year that so far it has not made any money in Obamacare, but will remain in the exchanges." (Robert King, "More Obamacare Insurer Losses Coming," The Washington Examiner, 2/1/16)

Humana Is Evaluating Whether Or Not It Will Continue To Participate In The Marketplace. "U.S. health insurer Humana Inc. announced Wednesday that its profits fell significantly in the fourth quarter of 2015, largely due to rising unexpected costs associated with new customers who signed up for health care under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The company said that it is evaluating whether it will withdraw from the program in 2017." (Taylor Tyler, "Obamacare: Humana Considering Withdrawing From Health Care Marketplace," Headlines And Global News, 2/10/16)

EVEN CLINTON AGREES THAT OBAMACARE IS KILLING JOBS

The Employer Mandate Is Forcing Americans Into Part-Time Work

Clinton: ObamaCare Is Responsible For Businesses Shifting Workers To Part-Time. QUESTIONER: "Hi, I just want to know why there is discrimination against the part-time workers when so many companies are going to part-time when it comes to FMLA?" CLINTON: "Well, that's why they are going to part-time. That, and also, the Affordable Care Act. You know, we got to change that because we have built in some unfortunate incentives that discourage full-time employment. A lot of employers believe if you don't work 40-hours a week you don't get benefits and that includes; you don't get health care benefits; that might include you're not eligible for the family medical leave; you're not eligible for paid sick days. So, there is a disincentive in our system that we need to deal with and I really worry about it because there is trend to try and move more and more people into part-time work; and how many of you are part-time workers? And sometimes you want to work part-time, it fits into your family, it fits into your life obligations but sometimes you want to work full-time but you can't get a full-time job. So, I want to look at all the employment rules." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Iowa City, IA, 12/16/15)

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FiveThirtyEight Headline: "Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To 'Obamacare.'" (Ben Casselman, "Yes, Some Companies Are Cutting Hours In Response To 'Obamacare,'" FiveThirtyEight, 1/13/15)

According To The Congressional Budget Office, Over The Next 10 Years, ObamaCare Will Cause The Loss Of Over 2 Million Full Time Jobs Worth Of Hours. "The projected reduction in the labor supply would occur in several ways. Some people would choose to work fewer hours; others would leave the labor force entirely or remain unemployed for longer than they otherwise would. CBO did not split its estimate of the overall reduction into the reduction in the number of hours worked and the reduction in labor force participation, because in formulating its estimate, the agency generally relied on labor supply elasticities (which measure the change in the labor supply resulting from a change in tax rates) that combined those two decisions. CBO did, however, translate the reduction in the labor supply into an effect on full-time-equivalent employment. The labor force is projected to be about 2 million full-time-equivalent workers smaller in 2025 than it would have been otherwise." ("How CBO Estimates The Effects Of The Affordable Care Act On The Labor Market," Congressional Budget Office Report , December 2015)

In January 2016, ObamaCare's Employer Mandate Will Affect Businesses With 50 Or More Full-Time Employees, Forcing Them To Cover Employees Or Pay A $2,000 Penalty Per Employee. "Starting in January, the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer workers health insurance or face penalties that can exceed $2,000 per employee." (Melody Campbell, "Health Care Law Forces Businesses To Consider Growth's Cost," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

  • ObamaCare's Employer Mandate Will Cost Businesses $167 Billion From 2016 To 2025. " Those gross savings of $1,658 billion over the 2016- 2025 period would be partly offset by costs totaling $502 billion stemming from four sources related to insurance coverage: A reduction in revenues of $43 billion from eliminating penalty payments by uninsured people, a decline in revenues of $167 billion from eliminating penalty payments by employers, a reduction in revenues of $87 billion from eliminating the excise tax on certain high-premium insurance plans, and other budgetary effects, mostly involving revenues, associated with shifts in the mix of taxable and nontaxable compensation resulting from net increases in employment-based health insurance coverage- which would, on net, increase deficits by $204 billion." ("Budgetary And Economic Effects Of Repealing The Affordable Care Act," Congressional Budget Office , 6/19/15)

ObamaCare's Employer Mandate Is Forcing Businesses To "Weigh Very Carefully The Price Of Growing Bigger." "For some business owners on the edge of the cutoff, the mandate is forcing them to weigh very carefully the price of growing bigger. 'There's kind of a deer-in-headlights moment for those who say, 'I have this new potential client, but if I bring them on, I have to hire five additional people,' said Philip P. Noftsinger, the payroll unit president at CBIZ, a financial services provider for businesses. 'They're really trying to assess how much the 50th employee is going to cost.'" (Melody Campbell, "Health Care Law Forces Businesses To Consider Growth's Cost," The New York Times , 11/18/15)

  • Many Businesses Have Held Back On Hiring Due To The Employer Mandate. "A number of businesses, including Regal Entertainment and SeaWorld, have reduced hours for part-time workers to fewer than 30 a week - the law's definition of full time - to avoid having to offer them health insurance. Other companies say they are holding back on hiring to avoid the insurance requirement. Seasonal employees and low-wage workers, such as adjunct professors and cafeteria staffers, have been hit especially hard." (Sandhya Somanhekhar, "As Health-Care Law's Employer Mandate Nears, Firms Cut Worker Hours, Struggle With Logistics," The Washington Post , 6/23/14)

Clinton On ObamaCare: Before It Was ObamaCare, It Was Called HillaryCare

At A CNN Town Hall, Clinton Reminded Everyone That ObamaCare Used To Be Called Hillarycare. CLINTON: Before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare, as you remember. I fought really hard. The insurance companies, and the drug companies spent millions against me." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall, 3/4/16)

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