The impact of ObamaCare on doctors and patients, companies inside and outside the health sector, and American workers and taxpayers
Doctor and hospital switching has become a recurring scramble as consumers on the individual market find it difficult or impossible to stay on their same plans amid rising premiums and a revolving door of carriers willing to sell policies. “In 2017, just because of all the carrier exits, there are going to be more people making involuntary changes,” said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a New Jersey philanthropy. “I would imagine all things being equal, more people are going to be disappointed this year versus last year.”
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Nearly 30 million American adults remain uninsured. Despite the Affordable Care Act’s vast—and growing—cost to taxpayers, it has failed to place the U.S. on the road to near-universal health insurance coverage. To deliver coverage that is more affordable and attractive to middle-class Americans, structural reforms to the ACA are urgently needed. Until then, America’s middle class will suffer the ACA’s high costs without enjoying its benefits.
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With so many insurers pulling out of ObamaCare’s health insurance Exchanges–”the craziest thing in the world,” according to Bill Clinton–hundreds of thousands or millions of enrollees will see their plans disappear. The federal government will send up to 20 notices to ObamaCare enrollees whose plans disappear—and will choose replacement plans if they don’t choose one themselves.
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The consensus is the ACA failed to reduce healthcare costs.
If we are to make healthcare affordable for everyone, the answer is not going to come from a President Hillary Clinton or a President Donald Trump. Instead, the solution can be found if we send healthcare back to the states where experimentation and innovative public policies can take place focusing on utilization and waste in healthcare.
It is there that we can look to states already on the move. Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama are considering a bold concept to reduce waste by reducing the need to practice of wasteful, defensive medicine.
Defensive medicine is any type of medical practice to avoid litigation such as tests, scans, medications and procedures.
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Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act is “no longer affordable” for many, a stinging critique from a state leader who strongly embraced the law and proudly proclaimed health reform was working in Minnesota just a few years ago.
Gov. Mark Dayton made the comments while addressing questions about Minnesota’s fragile health insurance market, where individual plans are facing double-digit increases after all insurers threatened to exit the market entirely in 2017. He’s the only Democratic governor to publicly suggest the law isn’t working as intended.
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Minnesota’s Democratic governor said Wednesday that ObamaCare “is no longer affordable” for many people.
“Ultimately … the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people,” Gov. Mark Dayton said, according to a transcript provided by his office.
Democrats have long acknowledged that improvements need to be made to the health law, but Dayton’s remarks go farther and are more negative than usual from members of his party.
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Ever since the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces opened for business in 2014, the Obama administration has worked hard to get Americans to sign up. Yet officials now are telling some older people that they might have too much insurance and should cancel their marketplace policies.
Each month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is sending emails to about 15,000 people with subsidized marketplace coverage. The message arrives a few weeks before their 65th birthday, which is when most become eligible for Medicare.
President Obama admitted in a far-ranging interview about his presidency that his signature health law has “got real problems.” He said he encouraged Democrats to “walk the plank to get the Affordable Care Act done,” despite their (well-founded) fears they could lose their seats over their votes. “Now, part of my argument to them was, you’ve already paid the price politically, it’s not as if a failed health-care effort would be helpful in midterm elections, it’s better to go ahead and push through and then show that we had gotten something done that was really important to the American people.” (He admits that the party was absolutely ready to take massive casualties to get the last leg of its political agenda passed.)
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While health plans struggle to make profits off individuals buying commercial coverage on public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, the insurance industry still sees promise in the law’s Medicaid expansion.
Take Wellcare Health Plans’ announcement that it has signed a deal to buy the Arizona operations of Care1st Health for $157.5 million in a deal that will add 114,000 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in the state’s largest market, Maricopa and Pima counties.
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Tennessee is ground zero for ObamaCare’s nationwide implosion. Late last month the state insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, approved premium increases of up to 62% in a bid to save the exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act. “I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse,” she said.
Then last week BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced it would leave three of the state’s largest exchange markets—Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville.
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