Many, including CDN, projected that consumer choice would become greatly limited after the imposition of Obamacare – this month is proving all of them right – and more.
The Economist published an article detailing the turmoil healthcare insurers are experiencing. The remedy they seek is to eliminate competition in an impossible marketplace:
A similar consolidation among health insurers was also predicted. But since the new insurance exchanges set up under Obamacare only went into operation last year, it has taken until now for it to be clear how big the merger wave may be. The largest insurer, UnitedHealth, has approached the number three, Aetna. The second-largest, Anthem, is trying to buy the number five, Cigna—which on June 21st rejected Anthem’s $47.5 billion bid. And the number four, Humana, has been looking at selling itself to either Aetna or Cigna.
Reduced competition is terrible for consumers. Prices inflate wildly and products/services become harder to get.
Once the healthcare marketplace is reduced to UnitedHealth, Anthem and Aetna, United and Anthem will fight over Aetna until just the two remain. With certain politicians in place, United will be allowed to acquire Anthem and there will just be one – a single payer.
It will be so much easier for progressives to regulate a single insurer into oblivion instead of dealing with a herd of cats all doing their own things. A behemoth like UnitedHealth needs the money the government gives it just to survive the weight of Obamacare. If UH doesn’t do what the government wants, that money is gone. And then – it will be gone anyway.
Once UnitedHealth becomes a figment of history, someone has to step in to save the imaginary “working class.” Gosh, who will that be?
Welcome to government healthcare. The crazy predictions from years ago are coming true and there will be no push back. People will just be happy to be getting “free” healthcare – no matter how unavailable or substandard it is.
Today, RepublicanSenate.gov published the highlights of the CBO’s updated report on the costs of Obamacare. Over one trillion dollars will be sucked out of the American economy to fill a massive feeding trough for government bureaucracies.
CBO: $1.05 Trillion In New Taxes
|“Penalty Payments by Uninsured Individuals …
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-55 [billion dollars].”
|“Penalty Payments by Employers…
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-106 [billion dollars].”
|“Excise Tax on High-Premium Insurance Plans…
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-111 [billion dollars].”
|“Associated Effects of Coverage Provisions on Tax Revenues…
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-216 [billion dollars].”
|“Fees on Certain Manufacturers and Insurers…
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-165 [billion dollars].”
|“Additional Hospital Insurance Tax…
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-318 [billion dollars].”
|“Other Revenue Provisions…
||Changes in revenues 2013-2022:-87 [billion dollars].”
Total: 1.05 trillion dollars (Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Speaker Boehner, Table 2, 7/24/12)
CBO: ‘$716 Billion’ In Medicare Cuts
CBO: “As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 6079, the Repeal of Obamacare Act, as passed by the House of Representatives on July 11, 2012. … Many of the other provisions that would be repealed by enacting H.R. 6079 affect spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs. … an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period.” (Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Speaker Boehner, P.1 & 13, 7/24/12)
President Obama Promised: ‘I Will Protect Medicare’
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “So don’t pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut … that will not happen on my watch. I will protect Medicare.” (President Obama, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, 9/9/09)
The CBO actually produced two reports: one detailing the perilous costs of Obamacare and another that details the impact should the House effort to repeal Obamacare succeed.
The Obamacare report stated that “CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of $1,168 billion over the 2012–2022″. This is the bill the President worked so hard to keep under one trillion dollars? What will it cost when they review it next year?
The second report discusses the impact of repealing PPACA (aka Obamacare). In it, the CBO estimates that the repeal of PPACA through the enactment of H.R. 6079 “The Repeal of Obamacare Act” “would reduce direct spending by $890 billion”.
The CBO does attempt to illustrate that the repeal bill would increase deficits by $109 Billion over ten years. Their math is based on the fact that over $1 trillion in job killing taxes would also be repealed forcing the government to cut spending instead of continuing to drain the American economy of the capital it produced and requires to grow.
These reports were issued by the “non-partisan Congressional Budget Office” that has been reported to be stacked with Obama-friendly staff just prior to this analysis. How different would the numbers be if reviewed by a truly independent review board?
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will dramatically reduce the number and variety of healthcare plan choices available to seniors and reduce benefits and enrollment, according to a new study released today by the American Action Forum. The report outlines that by 2017 nearly all Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees will find that the plan they have chosen for themselves is either no longer available at all, or available with reduced benefits, higher out-of-pocket costs – or both. Many people who would have preferred a Medicare Advantage plan will now find themselves under Medicare fee-for-service, which will also be subjected to substantial cuts.
“The negative effects of the Affordable Care Act on Medicare Advantage are clear,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of American Action Forum. “The Affordable Care Act’s price-fixing, cost-shifting programs are fundamentally changing the American healthcare system in a way that is damaging to our seniors, our businesses and our economy.”
“What Changes will Health Reform Bring to Medicare Advantage Plan Benefits and Enrollment” calculates PPACA’s effects on Medicare and finds that Medicare beneficiaries will either lose their MA coverage altogether as plans withdraw from the market or be faced with higher out-of-pocket costs and/or benefit reductions. The report finds that by 2017, 14.8 million would-be MA enrollees will either lose their access to MA plans entirely or drop out due to reduced benefits. And, by 2017, the average person who was enrolled prior to PPACA would lose $3,700 in health care services per year, totaling almost $55 billion for all such beneficiaries. When the new formula is fully phased in, there will be 66% fewer choices available in each county in the U.S. on average, with at least 152 U.S. counties losing all access to MA plans.
“What Changes will Health Reform Bring” directly estimates the dollar-value reduction in healthcare services consumed, and provides a state-by-state report of the declines in Medicare Advantage enrollment, the value of lost benefits and the reduction in health care plan choices from the years 2013 – 2017. Highlights of the report include:
- By 2017, there will be a 50% reduction in Medicare Advantage enrollees; with 67% loss in D.C. and a striking 84% loss in Puerto Rico. Texas, California and Pennsylvania would also experience 60%, 51% and 49% less enrollment, respectively.
- Benefit loses by state vary, with the largest loss in Louisiana, at a high of $5,092 in lost benefits.
- By the end of 2015, plan reductions of at least 30% are observed in all states and by the end of 2016, over half of states are projected to have at least 50% fewer plan choices, on average, by county.
- One of the most damaging effects of the new law is the adverse effects for people with chronic conditions due to disruption in care from changing doctors and the loss of specialists’ ability to communicate with each other.