The Washington Examiner has two good articles today on crucial problems for Obamacare.
The first relates to health insurance companies pulling out of the Obamacare market. The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group announced yesterday that it may be leaving the "public exchange markets" (i.e., Obamacare). Not only is UnitedHealth Group impacted adversely but other insurers are also only being reimbursed 12.6 cents on the dollar for losses.
Now that insurers have been able to look at medical claims, what they've found is that enrollees in Obamacare are disproportionately sicker, and losses are piling up. For the 2014 benefit year, insurers losing more than expected asked for $2.87 billion in government payments through the risk corridors program, but HHS only collected $362 million from insurers performing better than expected. Thus, the funds available to the federal government only amounts to 12.6 percent of what insurers argue that they're owed.The second relates to way too few people (including only about 35% of those eligible for subsidies) signing up for Obamacare. It's just too expensive even with subsidies.
A study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in October found that about 24 million Americans are eligible for tax credits — subsidies — to buy insurance through Obamacare. This year, about 10 million of them selected plans, with about 8.6 million actually paying the money and enrolling.
That's an enrollment rate of about 35 percent of those eligible for subsidies. Think about it: Only one in three people is signing up for Obamacare even if the government gives them money to help pay for it. It's a rate below what is necessary for Obamacare to survive in the long run.
Remember that Obamacare's authors stressed it wasn't just a program for the poor, that subsidies would be provided for families with yearly incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — that is, up to $47,080 for an individual or $97,000 for a family of four.
It's not working out that way. The Johnson Foundation found that while a lot of people with incomes below 200 percent of poverty — that is, an individual below $23,540 a year or a family of four below $48,500 — selected a subsidized Obamacare plan, very few people with incomes above that did.