Obamacare (ACA) Runs Into More Predicted Trouble

(npr.org)

Obamacare—the Affordable Care Act—has run into predicted trouble as a study by a major insurer shows new Obamacare customers are sicker and costlier than people who got insurance before the ACA kicked in.

When government gets involved in the economy, the costs never go down. You can take that to the bank.

(npr.org)

A new study shows Obamacare patients are using emergency rooms more than people not insured by the ACA. (npr.org)

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said Americans who enrolled in its Obamacare state-level exchange plans in 2014 and 2015, after the health law was fully up and running, had higher rates of diabetes, HIV and other diseases, and visited emergency rooms more frequently than pre-Obamacare enrollees and those who got coverage through their jobs, the Washington Times reports.

The new customers also cost an average of 19 percent more than those with employer-based insurance in 2014 and 22 percent more in 2015, Blue Cross said, undercutting the chief argument Mr. Obama used to sell his plan to the country in 2009 and 2010.
In Blue Cross’s data, Obamacare-era enrollees filled 35 percent more prescriptions in 2015 than pre-reform individuals, and 6 percent more than members covered under their employers’ plans.

In-patient hospital admission rates among newer enrollees were 38 percent higher compared to pre-reform enrollees and 23 percent higher than employer-insured members.

The ACA has had problems from the get-go, including major difficulties with the computerized sign-up program and the ACA causing millions of Americans’ seeing their health insurance premiums skyrocket. And, of course, there was President Barack Hussein Obama’s notable lie that Americans can get keep their doctors and insurance plans if they like them.

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The federal Health and Human Services department criticized the Blue Cross study’s methodology as flawed by comparing different pools of customers and said the initial influx of sicker people was expected.

“After years of being discriminated against, Americans with pre-existing conditions are no longer locked out of coverage because of a health condition like asthma or diabetes,” HHS spokesman Benjamin Wakana said Wednesday. “It’s no surprise that people who newly gained access to coverage under the Affordable Care Act needed health care; that’s why they were locked out of coverage before.”

The Obama administration has been trying to bring healthier people into the ACA by taxing them for not joining. This heavy-handed, you-will-join-Obamacare-and-will-like-it hasn’t worked so far. The penalty was $95 in 2014 and $325 last year and is $695 this year. Maybe the next draconian step would have to be a Cuban-style socialist health-care system.

Emergency room doctors also had predicted that the ACA would worsen ER crowding, and their foresight seems to have been accurate.

Insurers have been complaining about the costs the ACA is laying on them.

The UnitedHealth Group said it is hemorrhaging money on the exchanges because of much sicker-than-expected customers. It has warned it might get out of the Obamacare exchanges by next year if the situation doesn’t improve.

Blue Cross plans serve millions on the Obamacare’s Web-based exchanges in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

The problems of Obamacare will add to Obama’s legacy as America’s worst president. It also leaves a mess for the next president to clean up, if the president is not a Democrat. Remember Obamacare was presaged by “Hillarycare” proposal, which never made it into law, partly because the Democrats didn’t control both the House and Senate.

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