ObamaCare's future: Condition critical
Just around the time that Barack Obama packs his bags and leaves the White House, the house of cards that is ObamaCare could come tumbling down.
The fourth sign-up period ends just before the presidential inauguration and the numbers are not good, analysts say. Of considerable concern is the continuing struggle to attract young, healthy people to offset the medical costs of older patients.
The 11 million people who bought coverage through the ObamaCare exchanges last year are a far cry from the 21 million projected by the Congressional Budget Office, The Hill newspaper reports.
Meanwhile the nation's top five insurers all report they're losing money on the exchanges as they get their first “full look” at ObamaCare's customer data. UnitedHealth Group responded by scaling back its ObamaCare public exchange offerings.
Not that ObamaCare has been a grand bargain for the public, either. The average premium increase for 2017 is about 9 percent, according to one analysis. In Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield has proposed a nearly 60 percent increase.
“From a policy point of view, we're basically seeing the exchanges unravel,” says Michael Abrams, a health care strategist.
Suggested fixes — from increasing ObamaCare subsidies to giving families a $5,000 tax credit — address the symptoms, not the disease. The question is, how much longer will the next president allow this disease to metastasize?