Tags: obamacare | health | insurance | states

New Year Brings Obamacare Closer to the End

By    |   Thursday, 08 January 2015 01:07 PM

Even before the Supreme Court takes up the legality of Obamacare this year, its future is very much in question.

Recently, some key Democrats admitted that passing Obamacare was a mistake, when they should have been concentrating on improving the economy.

Despite pronouncements from former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, who suggested that Obamacare merely had a “branding issue,” Obamacare is in deep trouble. Its demise began when promises made by the White House have proven not to be true.

We can all remember Obama’s pledge that under ACA (Affordable Care Act), you can keep your current physician. But throughout the country, those insured in ACA not only can’t use their current physician, they are having a problem finding any physician who will honor their ACA coverage.

Nearly one million Floridians enrolled in private health plans, through the ACA exchange, are finding that many physicians refuse to honor their coverage — even when the doctors are included in the plan’s provider network.

It’s no wonder that re-enrollment is hitting a snag. A Bankrate Health Insurance Pulse survey found that fifty-one percent of respondents in a survey of last year’s Obamacare exchange customers don’t plan to purchase a plan this year. Only 15 percent have indicated that they will re-enroll next year.

This is a far cry from the 1.3 million people enrolled in Obamacare, who the White House claims intend to re-enroll. Like most numbers coming out of the White House these are impossible to substantiate.

Not only is access to healthcare a huge obstacle, so is the specter of rising premiums and deductibles.

For example, in Charleston, West Virginia, the state capital, only 14 health plans are available, and all are offered by Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Over half the plans have deductibles of $2,500 and more.

On the cost side, the latest projections point to premiums that could rise from 8.5 percent to 22.8 percent for next year.

The most dramatic increases are underway in Alaska, where the state insurance division has cleared double-digit rate hikes for two insurers, Premera Blue Cross and Moda Health. Premera’s premiums will rise by 35 to 40 percent.

In Louisiana, premiums have gone up by 53 percent for the average Louisiana policyholder and many of these policies will again see double-digit increases.

It doesn’t take an economist to figure out what this means for not only the average American but for American businesses.

I have more than 200 employees, for whom I provide health insurance. I have already been warned by my insurance provider to expect double digit increases this year. Every business owner has several choices to make — all of them difficult.

As much as I think every American should have health insurance, Obamacare is not the answer. The national healthcare insurance exchange isn’t workable. And as much as states are trying to roll out their own plans, there are few winners.

The losers are all of us.

For millions of Americans like me, 2016 cannot come soon enough. Although Congress will try to improve the situation through several votes to amend and improve the healthcare law, the president has already said he will veto them.

We will soon have the opportunity to elect a new president who understands what this country needs, and introduce an effective healthcare law that allows all of us to make informed decisions about the health of ourselves and family.

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Even before the Supreme Court takes up the legality of Obamacare this year, its future is very much in question.
obamacare, health, insurance, states
Thursday, 08 January 2015 01:07 PM
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