When I think of things taking hit after hit, I envision some of the World War II bombers that kept taking hit after hit and then eventually succumbing to one hit too many. Navy ships in World War II often took a number of hits from torpedoes, bombs or strafing from fighter planes and remained afloat until the one last fatal hit that sent the ship to the bottom of the ocean.
This past year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has been taking hit after hit.
Most of the cooperatives established by Obamacare have already announced that they are closing shop. A number of other insurance companies have announced dropping certain plans. Most insurance carriers have announced double-digit premium increases for 2016. In some areas, those premium increases may exceed 50%. A growing number of doctors, medical groups and hospitals are no longer willing to treat some patients due to their health insurance, especially if they are using Medicaid.
No doubt Obamacare has been taking on water from all of its hits but is still managing to keep afloat. However, the latest announcement just issued by UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, may just be the fatal hit that could sink Obamacare for good.
With over 550,000 Obamacare exchange policies, the mega insurer just announced that they have been losing millions of dollars on exchange policies. They just reduced their fourth quarter earnings outlook but $425 million. Stephen Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth pointed to the huge earnings drop to lower than anticipated exchange enrollment, the failing of so many of the co-ops and a worsening experience with their own claims as the cause of their solemn projections.
UnitedHealth said they plan to re-evaluate their exchange plans in the first half of 2016. Depending on how open enrollment turns out, they said that there is the possibility of completely withdrawing from the Obamacare exchange program for 2017. If they do withdraw, the future of Obamacare is definitely in danger of sinking below the surface of viability, causing it to sink to the abyss of socialist failures.