Insurance Company Bailing on Obamacare Exchanges

While, at one time, insurance companies were supporting Obamacare as a path to profits, the crony venture doesn’t seem to work anymore. The Hill reports, “Major insurer may leave ObamaCare.”

One of the country’s largest health insurers warned Thursday that it may leave the ObamaCare exchanges within two years, delivering a shock announcement that could ripple through the marketplace.

At a shareholder meeting Thursday, UnitedHealthcare cast doubt on its ability to carry plans on the healthcare law’s exchanges beyond 2016, offering a more grim financial outlook than it had previously expected.

“In recent weeks, growth expectations for individual exchange participation have tempered industrywide,” said Stephen Hemsley, the company’s CEO. 

“Co-operatives have failed, and market data has signaled higher risks and more difficulties while our own claims experience has deteriorated, so we are taking this proactive step,” he said.

The company’s statement said it will be “evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.”

It also projected that its fourth-quarter revenue will be $425 million less than expected — amounting to 26 cents in earnings per share.

The company also announced it has “pulled back” on marketing plans for 2016.

The reference to failed Obamacare co-operatives was reported on earlier this month.  That means that, as far as UnitedHealthcare is concerned, those failures were not an anomaly but a true measure of Obamacare’s viability.

It is interesting that the original theory among many of us conservatives was that Obamacare was going to make healthcare so expensive that the public would clamor for socialized medicine (a.k.a. “single payer”). There was evidence for this strategy behind Obamacare, and the price of healthcare did skyrocket. But the Affordable Care Act (ha!) was so big and complicated and convoluted that all the corporate lobbyists and academic experts could not make it “work.”

I mean, work for the insurance companies; it was never supposed to work for consumers.