Humana, United Healthcare are bailing out of Obamacare, other insurers will increase premiums as much as 13 percent – something you aren’t hearing from either Trump or Clinton

16 May

This is the weirdest presidential election I can remember in my adult life. Somehow they’ve managed to campaign for the better part of a year without talking about any really substantive issues.

One thing they’re not talking about is the failure of Obamacare. It’s happened just like the critics predicted – not enough people are paying in, and too many people are collecting.  The big health insurers are not making the profits they wanted.  According to this article from Virginia-based financial services company Motley Fool, two major insurers are opting out of states that signed on to Obamacare and others are set to raise premiums to “scary” new levels.

“Worst of all, it doesn’t appear as if insurer rate hike requests are going to ebb once we get beyond 2017.”

Low enrollment, especially among healthy young people, seems to be the biggest problem.  Obama had expected the young to bear the larger burden, assuming young people would be healthier and fitter and make fewer claims while paying their own premiums. Who would sign on to something that dumb – would Barack Obama advise his daughters to sign in on to something like that? Well, he doesn’t have to, they will continue to live under the umbrella of their dad’s publicly-paid insurance until they are 24, at which time I’m going to assume they will use their considerable wealth to purchase very nice plans for themselves.

Motley Fool blames the low penalties, still “considerably lower” than the “cheapest health plans.”  True, I am not intimidated by the penalty. What intimidates me is finding myself with a policy that is not accepted by local caregivers, or a policy that won’t even get me into a hospital, much less pay for adequate care. My biggest fear with Obamacare is going into a hospital with a label on my forehead that says, “can’t afford anything, leave her in the hallway until her family picks her up…”

What is angering the big insurers is the failure of promises made regarding the “risk corridor.” Obama promised to protect the insurance companies should they not achieve the profits they were expecting – wow, is that legal? – but apparently has not. “In 2016, insurers that were losing money on Obamacare’s exchanges requested $2.87 billion in financial assistance. Unfortunately, the risk corridor doled out just $362 million, or 13% of what was requested.”

That was surprising to me – I had thought it was all about enriching the insurance companies, but here, Obama screwed them too.

Fool also blames subsidies for hiding the impact of the rate increases from most ratepayers, leaving a smaller disgruntled crowd who can’t seem to attract much sympathy for their problem. See, those who make too much to qualify for subsidies are in fact paying for those who do qualify, and they’re paying more all the time. Just like people who don’t get welfare pay for those who do get it. That pisses people off. But there are apparently too few pissed off people to make much of a wave, most of those enrolled are apparently being subsidized. Again, those healthier younger people just aren’t taking the bait, so those that do bite will bite twice as hard.

The article reports that “ Hillary Clinton has proposed building on Obamacare’s success, while Donald Trump is focused on its repeal.”   Really? I haven’t heard them say anything about it.  I’ve just heard enough carping back and forth to fill a standard 2.5 gallon toilet.

What an election.

I love that old poem – Yeats? – “what rough beast, it’s hour come round at last, slouches toward Washington DC, to be born?”  or something like that.


12 Responses to “Humana, United Healthcare are bailing out of Obamacare, other insurers will increase premiums as much as 13 percent – something you aren’t hearing from either Trump or Clinton”

  1. bob May 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    Remember Dogtree telling us we had to have Obamacare?

    • Juanita Sumner May 17, 2016 at 4:46 am #

      Oh yeah, and she was really rude and snipey about it.

  2. bob May 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

    The Horrorville city council is going to discuss their sales tax increase increase tomorrow at 6 pm. Then they will vote to put it on the ballot. There was an article about it in the Wretched. From what I’ve read it’s a slam dunk that the city council will put it on the ballot. No signatures required for this! But you can damn well bet they’d require signatures for a tax cut. All the city council members are trough feeders or trough feeder puppets.

    As usual the Wretched just regurgitated what the politicians and bureaucrats said. No asking the tough questions like how are they going to fund the additional staff after the measure expires, how much will this exacerbate the already terrible unfunded pension liabilities, etc. Hell, it wasn’t even mentioned that since this measure passes with a simple majority the politicians can spend the money any damn way they please regardless of what the measure says. How’s that for reporting?

    Do you know if there is an Oroville taxpayers association? How about a Butte county taxpayers association? Will anyone fight this? What about the Republican or Libertarian parties? What about the auto dealers, appliance re-sellers and other merchants who will be hurt by this?

    The Paradise measure barely passed and no one even bothered to write an argument against the tax increase for the voter handbook. I wonder if that will be the case with this.

    I wonder if anyone in Oroville or Butte county gives a damn.

    • Juanita Sumner May 17, 2016 at 4:48 am #

      Butte County Taxpayers is run by blogger Jack Lee. They collect money from friends and make endorsements. I think they recommended voting NO on Measure J, but they didn’t offer me any help getting the signs out.

      Jack Lee is an old jackass – just likes to sit around and bray.

  3. bob May 16, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    In Oregon some plans could go up over 29%.

    In my opinion Obammycare was never meant to work. It was meant to fail so goobermentcare can be ushered in. Things are awful now but just wait until the gooberment sets all the prices and pays all the bills. You think it’s bad now, just wait until it is “free.” Take the worst horror stories from the VA and that’s what it will be like for everyone, except the politicians, politically connected and the rich.

    • Juanita Sumner May 17, 2016 at 4:50 am #

      They try to make single payer tempting – oh yeah, it works in other countries!

      Ever been to Canada? Yech.

      Our government can’t do anything without corrupting it.

  4. bob May 17, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    And CUSD wants to put a 152 million dollar bond measure on this November’s ballot!

    Pure madness but I’m sure it will pass. After all, most voters believe bonds are free money.

    • Juanita Sumner May 17, 2016 at 11:25 am #

      I am finally realizing, the voters are the real problem.

      I wanted to say, “I have seen the enemy, and he is us…” but I couldn’t remember the actual quote, so I looked it up.

      I’m not quoting Commodore Perry, I’m quoting Pogo.

      From the website, I’ve added some elaboration –

      We can’t just blame the big bad corporations (politicians) for the environmental (political, economic, social) problems we face. Most of the time, they are just giving us what we “demand” as consumers (voters) at a cost we are willing to pay, and abiding by laws created by politicians we elect.

      • bob May 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

        Maybe there is some hope. After all, your efforts to defeat the cell phone tax worked.

      • Juanita Sumner May 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

        Thanks for reminding me Bob – sometimes all it takes is a little resistance.

        I always wondered, how much difference did my personal efforts make toward defeating that measure? If I actually influenced the voters in that election, what exactly was it I did?

        I’ve toted some pigs in a poke too – remember Measure A? The ill-fated attempt to move local elections to June? I had a sincere belief that moving the elections would have a positive effect on turnout – and I meant, more people, not “the right people”. Turnout here is miserable. Who cares if the students vote – the statistics I got at that time indicated less than 1,000 registered voters identify themselves as “students.” I believed – and still wonder – if we separated our local elections from the hullaballoo of the state and federal elections, would we get more of a chance to discuss local issues?

        The Measure A proponents were divided between people like me who just wanted to raise voter turnout and people who hated “students” and thought they should not be allowed to vote. The haters were louder, and the opposition immediately put all of us on the defensive. We never had time to talk about raising turnout, or how low turnout affects elections, we just had this huge mud match about hating the students.

        I went to Chico State, I thought we were supposed to be good citizens, so, after driving back to my mom’s house to vote the first semester I was here, I registered to vote in town. Shouldn’t you vote where you live? Shouldn’t we try harder to educate new residents of our issues? When I tried to reason with people like Stephanie Taber and Larry Wahl, they started looking at me with snake eyes. Meanwhile, the liberals pointed the “student hater” finger. I stopped speaking to a lot of my liberal friends over all that, or they stopped talking to me, we’ll never know.

        Another problem here is, Chico is an ugly little town, and the politicians here play that up. See how they purge the commissions whenever there’s a change in the make-up of council. We’ve got to figure out a way to get people to pay attention to what’s really going on instead of being distracted with the dog and pony show that passes for local government.

        I had to laugh when I heard this story that there are more opioid prescriptions in Butte County than residents, but we’re spending millions of dollars ramping up for pot season. The voters here have just got to wake up.

      • bob May 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

        Speaking of what might/can make a difference in these elections I wonder if the Paradise sales increase would have been defeated if someone would have made a good argument against it in the voter handbook. It barely won and there was only an argument for it. No one bothered to write an argument against it. The supporters of the tax increase had a facebook page and made signs and flyers although I don’t know how well distributed they were because I don’t live in Paradise and didn’t go there during the last election. (I hardly ever go there.) As far as I could tell there was no effort by anyone to do anything to defeat the sales tax increase.

        I wonder if the Oroville sales tax increase will be the same. I would think the Oroville tax increase will be a tougher sell because it raise the sales tax to 8.5% where as Paradise raised theirs to 8%.

        Dang, I can remember when the sales tax used to be 5%.

      • Juanita Sumner May 18, 2016 at 4:50 am #

        Thanks Bob, you’re energizing me. You’re right, oftentimes, all it takes is a little opposition.

        Sheesh – Utility Tax is 5 percent – how did this happen?

        Oh, excuse me, you just answered that question – nobody showed up to oppose it.

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