I’ve covered the Obamacare debacle here at TSM for quite a while, with the earliest post on the topic being Multiply by the Zip Code from 2009, and going on from there. The “Primum, Non Nocere” (First, do no harm) T-shirts (2010) are still available, too.
In 2013 I reviewed some Obamacare Predictions. A bit later in the year, the GeekWithA.45 provided post materials with a comment on the state of the healthcare industry. His conclusion: American healthcare is all over but the screaming.
Obamacare survived not one, but two Supreme Court challenges that were decided on the basis of – well, let Antonin Scalia say it, from his scathing dissent to King v. Burwell:
Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.
But it cannot be saved from itself.
Investors Business Daily reports this week:
Aetna Joins Growing Chorus Warning About ObamaCare Failing
A chorus, I’m sure, that has about as many members as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at this point. IBD reports:
ObamaCare was supposed to be on a roll by now, promising 20 million signing up, low cost and stable premiums. Turns out it’s on a roll all right. It’s rolling towards the cliff.
Insurance giant Aetna (AET) has joined a growing number of insurers warning that the ObamaCare exchanges are failing in just the way critics said they would. (My emphasis – Ed.) This year’s anemic enrollment won’t help.
This week, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini warned that “we continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges.” Aetna lost more than $100 million last year on the 750,000 enrollees it has through ObamaCare exchanges.
Bertolini’s warning comes after UnitedHealth Group (UNH) announced that it might pull out of ObamaCare entirely next year, after getting hit with a $475 million loss in 2015. It expects to lose another $500 million this year. Last fall, CEO Stephen Hemsley said that “we can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.” That, he said, “basically is an industry-wide proposition.”
Now, refer back to the GeekWithA.45’s comment from 2013, where he said:
Coming off my yearly engagement with the think tanks, I’ve heard, for the first time, a series of data points coming from hospital CEOs that add up to one thing: the admission that exercising a hospital’s primary function is no longer a source of value and revenue, it is viewed as entirely cost, risk, and liability. Consequently, they are no longer building any capacity, and are in fact looking for ways to reduce their capacity and eliminate hospital beds.
The aging boomers are gonna love that when it comes home to roost.
Again, I think it bears repeating: the healthcare industry now views exercising its particular expertise and primary function as primarily a source of cost, risk, and liability.
That, as they say, isn’t sustainable.
Reality is what exists even when you stop believing in it.
But the Affordable Care Act must be saved!