Remember when President Obama proclaimed that Obamacare was going to fix the nation’s healthcare “woes”?
We were all going to get better coverage at cheaper rates and everyone would be covered. He even crowed about the magical $2500 reduction in each family’s healthcare policy – remember that?
Now, after seven years of misstarts; a website that cost billions and didn’t work; doctors and hospitals going out of business in droves; radical leftists forcing birth control and abortions down companies’ throats; and ever-growing premiums, Obamacare is on track to become one of our nation’s worst social disasters.
Despite the Obama Administration’s “whistling-past-the-graveyard” attitude, the failures continue to multiply.
But, that’s what the Democrat Congress gets in “voting for the bill to see what’s in it” (in the words of one of the Democrats’ biggest brains – Nancy Pelosi).
Now, the largest of the idyllic Obamacare Co-Ops has failed and everyone with absolutely no sense of free market capitalism is scratching their brains as to why.
The Daily Signal has the cautionary tale:
A new report examining the collapse of Health Republic of New York, Obamacare’s largest co-op, said its failure—which may lead to a $265-million loss of taxpayer dollars—can be attributed in part to heightened regulatory control by the state.
According to the analysis from the Albany, New York-based Empire Center, a “breakdown” in oversight from the state Department of Financial Services and artificial cuts in Health Republic’s premiums may have led to the ultimate failure of the consumer operated and oriented plan, or co-op.
Of the 23 co-ops created under the health care law, just 12 remain.
“The rapid rise and costly fall of Health Republic Insurance of New York … is a cautionary tale for policymakers in Albany as well as in Washington,” the report’s author, Bill Hammond, wrote. “Despite heavy federal subsidies and robust enrollment growth, Health Republic lost money at such a clip that state regulators forced it to shut down as of Nov. 30, on barely two months’ notice.”
So, the largest “poster boy” for Obamacare – New York’s Co-Op – has gone belly up. Huge surprise!
And, the latest scapegoat to be blamed is – you won’t believe it – government overregulation.
Yep, the People’s Republic of New York couldn’t manage to make a socialist healthcare dream come true.
The Daily Signal has more:
Health Republic, one of 23 co-ops implemented under Obamacare, sold the cheapest plans available on New York’s state-run exchange and enrolled more than 200,000 customers in coverage. According to the Empire Center, Health Republic offered consumers broad networks, and its plans were significantly cheaper than those sold by competitors like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.
As a result of its low premiums, Health Republic experienced significant losses in 2014, as its customers’ medical claims and administrative costs outpaced the revenue it was bringing in through premiums.
To remedy its losses, Health Republic requested a 15.4 percent increase in rates for individuals and 5.9 percent increase in rates for small group plans in 2015. The state Department of Financial Services, though, approved lower rate-hikes, which the Empire Center said squeezed the market.
“Although Health Republic’s premiums were already among the very lowest in the state—and though its financial report showed it was losing money—the fledgling company did not escape the state’s rate-setting knife,” the report said.
Like many of the other 23 co-ops—which received a total of $2.5 billion from the federal government—Health Republic relied on money from Obamacare’s risk corridor program to boost its bottom line. The risk corridor program sought to limit the risk for insurers in the market.
According to the Empire Center, Health Republic requested $243 million from the risk corridor program. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in October it would pay just 12.6 percent of the requested payments.
As a result, Health Republic, along with seven other co-ops, announced it would be closing its doors after experiencing significant losses and receiving lower-than-expected payments from the risk corridor program.
These socialists live in a fantasy world of their own making. They thought they could magically give people healthcare below what healthcare really costs. To make up the difference, the U.S. taxpayer would simply make up the difference.
When reality struck and there wasn’t enough of other people’s money to go around, they simply closed their doors and left everyone out in the cold.
The Daily Signal summarizes:
Health Republic closed its doors Nov. 30, leaving some of its 215,000 customers to find coverage for a month—or go without—and secure new insurance for 2016 through the state-run exchange.
“If the goal is making health coverage more affordable, the surest way to achieve that objective is not for the state to impose price controls, but for it to roll back its own high taxes and costly coverage mandates,” the report said.
New York was a perfect recipe for a socialist nuclear healthcare implosion: take one of the most liberal states in the union; fit it with a radical, left-wing healthcare plan; pretend that people will just abandon market principles; expect doctors and hospitals to work for free; and allow jaded politicians to micromanage the whole system.
Yep, that’s Obamacare in a nutshell.
Okay Nancy, we now know what you and your merry band of extremist Democrat loons foisted onto the American people – one of the worst public policy disasters in all of U.S. history.
Let us pray 2017 brings a President and Congress willing to DO what is right for the American people and throw this whole piece of garbage into one of New Jersey’s many landfills where it belongs!
About Russ Hepler
Russ Hepler is a pastor, teacher, political activist, author and conference speaker with over 30 years’ experience. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College and an M.A.R. from Evangelical School of Theology. He has been an issues’ advocate, a campaign volunteer for local, state, and federal candidates, Regional Field Director for PA Christian Coalition and president of a county chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life. His first book – Yes! We Can Turn This Nation Around! A Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement – was published in 2012. He and his wife, Sherry, have founded Transformation 1202 Ministries to educate, encourage, and challenge people of faith to get involved in the political and cultural issues of our day.