S&P Says Obamacare State Co-Ops are Underwater

Has the Affordable Care Act produced anything positive? I guess it depends on who you ask.

Some say that it’s positive in that it provides for many women’s health issues including contraception. But then that’s at the cost of violating the religious beliefs held by millions of Americans and also at the complete ignoring of male health concerns like prostrate and testicular cancer.

Others are touting that Obamacare must cover pre-existing conditions, but they fail to mention the high premium costs that come with that coverage. Due to my diabetes and high blood pressure along with my wife’s irregular heartbeat, a cheap bronze plan which would only pay 60% of our medical costs after we paid our $4,000 deductible would cost us $816 a month. That’s a house payment and far more than we can afford, hence we will pay the mandated fines for being uninsured.

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Rep. Nancy Pelosi continues to tell everyone that Obamacare has lowered premiums and increased the degree and accessibility to fine medical care when EVERY study has proven the opposite to be true.

Some Democrats and designers of the Affordable Care Act have tried to convince us that the state co-ops are another Obamacare success story, but like many stories, their optimism is more fiction than truth. According to the Washington Post:

“When the new health-care law was being cobbled together, Congress decided to establish a network of nonprofit insurance companies aimed at bringing competition to the marketplace, long dominated by major insurers.

But these co-ops, started as a great hope for lowering insurance costs, are already in danger.

While the debut of the Affordable Care Act this month has been marred by widespread computer problems, the difficulties the co-ops face have been less obvious to consumers. One co-op, however, has closed, another is struggling, and at least nine more have been projected to have financial problems, according to internal government reviews and a federal audit.

Their failure would leave taxpayers potentially on the hook for nearly $1 billion in defaulted loans and rob the marketplace of the kind of competition they were supposed to create. And if they become insolvent, policyholders in at least half the states where the co-ops operate could be stuck with medical bills.”

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Iowa’s CoOportunity Health, stating:

“Iowa’s insurance regulator plans to shut down insurer CoOportunity Health, marking the first failure of one of the nonprofit cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act. … CoOportunity had been seen as one of the most successful coops in terms of enrollment volume, but according to the Iowa regulator, the insurer’s large pool of sign-ups created financial pressures as their health-care costs outran its funds.”

If that’s not bad enough, Standard & Poor Rating Service just released a report that paints just as gloomy of a future for the state co-ops as the Washington Post. They stated:

“All but one of the [23] co-ops included in our study reported negative net income through the first three quarters of 2014. … Most co-ops’ weak operating performance is a result of high medical claims trend and not enough scale to offset administrative costs. … In fact, nine of the co-ops (including CoOportunity Health) reported a MLR [i.e., medical loss ratio; the claims compared to premiums] of 100% or more through September 2014.”

Forbes goes on to show just how poorly the co-ops have been run, starting with the leadership in the White House. They conclude their report on the failing co-ops by saying:

“So the president who never ran a company, especially a health care company, and his left-wing enablers decided to prove that providing affordable health insurance was easy once you took the profits out and put in the bureaucrats. Thanks to him and Democrats, consumers are paying much more for health insurance and taxpayers are paying much more for all of Obama’s mistakes. Hubris has a price, but he won’t pay it—we will.”

With the co-ops failing, that’s another of the touted positive results of Obamacare that is coming crashing down around the tarnished towers of his imperial majesty, Sultan Barack Hussein Obama.

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