Insurers helped cheerlead the creation of Obamacare, with plenty of encouragement – and pressure – from Democrats and the Obama administration. As long as the Affordable Care Act included an individual mandate that forced Americans to buy its product, insurers offered political cover for the government takeover of the individual-plan marketplaces. With the prospect of tens of millions of new customers forced into the market for comprehensive health-insurance plans, whether they needed that coverage or not, underwriters saw potential for a massive windfall of profits.

Six years later, those dreams have failed to materialize. Now some insurers want taxpayers to provide them the profits to which they feel entitled — not through superior products and services, but through lawsuits.

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ObamaCare enrollment dropped to about 11.1 million people at the end of March, according to new figures released by the administration.

 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said enrollment fell to about 11.1 million, down from the 12.7 million who signed up for coverage before the Jan. 31 deadline.

A dropoff was expected, and has occurred in previous years as well, given that some people who sign up do not pay their premiums.

The CMS said 87 percent of enrollees remained signed up, within the expected range of 80 percent to 90 percent retention.

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The health care law President Obama signed six years ago was supposed to fix the individual insurance market with enlightened rules and regulations. Instead, ObamaCare is destroying this market. Just look at what’s happening to Blue Cross Blue Shield.

If any insurer could cope with ObamaCare, it should have been Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Blue Cross companies came into the ObamaCare exchanges with decades of experience writing individual policies. Most of them are non-profits, which gives them an automatic leg up on the competition. And their plans captured the largest share of the exchange markets across the country.

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Two major health insurers in Arizona are discontinuing Obamacare plans in part of the state next year.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Health Net will stop selling plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces in the city of Maricopa and Pinal County, dropping coverage for tens of thousands of enrollees, according to new state filings reported by the Arizona Republic.

Additionally, Health Net is scaling back its Obamacare offerings in Pima County, selling only mid-level silver and gold marketplace plans.

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This year, premiums were up an average of 8 percent. In many states, double-digit premium hikes were the norm.

 Next year, they’re likely to be even bigger, according to Marilyn Tavenner, the former chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama and current head of the insurers’ main trade group — America’s Health Insurance Plans.
There are less costly ways to make sure that all Americans have access to coverage — and that they can afford it. They’re called “high-risk pools” and they can protect those with pre-existing conditions without jacking up premiums for everyone else.
Obamacare was supposed to ensure affordable health coverage through two related provisions — “guaranteed issue” and “community rating.” The first forbids insurers from denying anyone a policy, and the second prevents them from charging anyone any more than three times what they charge anyone else.
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Nearly 22,000 Ohioans — more than one-third of whom live in the Columbus area — have until Thursday to find a new health insurance plan or face being uninsured for most of July.

The Ohio Department of Insurance took over InHealth Mutual, a subsidiary of Coordinated Health Mutual, in May. The health insurance cooperative based in Westerville was set up in 2014 to be a lower-cost option for Ohioans who shop the federally run health insurance marketplace. The state agency is liquidating the company because it ceased to meet the federal requirements for minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Affordable Care Act opened the door for millions of young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26.

But there’s a downside to remaining on the family plan.

Chances are that Mom or Dad, as policyholder, will get a notice from the insurer every time the grown-up kid gets medical care, a breach of privacy that many young people may find unwelcome.

With this in mind, in recent years a handful of states have adopted laws or regulations that make it easier for dependents to keep medical communications confidential.

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For six years, it has been abundantly clear that Americans want Obamacare to be repealed—but only if a well-conceived conservative alternative is positioned to take its place. That’s why the recent release of the House GOP health care plan is a big deal. The new plan would of course repeal Obamacare. But it would also fix what the federal government had already broken even before the law was passed and made things so much worse.

The proposal pairs an Obamacare alternative with Medicaid reforms and the crucial Medicare reforms (amounting to a kind of “Medicare Advantage Plus”) that Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans have long championed. As Ryan put it after the proposal’s release, “The way I see it, if we don’t like the direction the country is going in—and we do not—then we have an obligation to offer an alternative….And that’s what this is.” He called the plan not merely “a difference is policy” but “a difference in philosophy.”

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A new poll of voters in battleground states finds a rare opportunity for bipartisan agreement on healthcare, with Americans strongly favoring action on public policies that support medical discovery into new treatments and cures. The poll was jointly commissioned by the Galen Institute and Center Forward, center-right and center-left think tanks.

Purple Insights interviewed 800 registered voters earlier this month and found that nearly all those surveyed believe it is important for the United States to continue to develop new treatments and cures for diseases and believe these new discoveries are an opportunity to help the United States maintain its competitive edge.

A strong 78% say that fostering policies that support medical innovation should be a top priority for members of Congress and candidates for Congress.

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Ryan’s plan embraces the idea that refundable tax credits can be used to give people universal access to “quality, affordable health care.” It recognizes that we can’t return to the pre-Obamacare status quo, which was too arbitrary, too expensive, and too bureaucratic. It concedes that reforming Medicaid—including Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion—will be a gradual process, requiring a new infusion of federal funds to help cajole states into reforming their own health-care markets (which were hardly free and efficient before Obamacare).

These reforms envision portable, affordable coverage. Routine health expenses would be channeled through Health Savings Accounts. Private exchanges would compete to offer affordable insurance—as they already do for employers. Currently, employers’ spending on health insurance plans is tax-deductible and uncapped—meaning that if organizations want to buy $100,000 health plans and write them off, they can.

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