This Large Health Insurer Has Effectively Admitted Obamacare Is Failing
By John R. Graham • Monday March 31, 2014 4:14 PM PDT •
People can be forgiven for being confused about the effects of Obamacare. For over a year now, there has been a lot of evidence that the upward trend of medical costs has tempered. Some have said that we have finally bent the cost curve.
Much of the declining rate of growth of medical spending is surely due to the recession. John Goodman and Peter Ferrara have made the case that the impressive rise of consumer-driven health plans, and Health Savings Accounts, have made patients more discriminating purchasers of health care.
And yet, premiums are going through the roof. Those who are profiting from Obamacare are loathe to criticize it too openly. And yet, WellPoint, a large insurer, has just announced that it expects to demand “double-digit plus” rate increases in the Obamacare exchanges in 2015.
WellPoint dominates the exchanges. This news is an admission that the exchanges are seeing applicants too old and sick to keep premiums in line with what was originally expected.
The Obama administration is crowing that it has dragged six million people across the finish line into the exchanges by March 31—or at least sort of. This, in itself, is no sign of success.
The fight over Obamacare exchanges has just begun. Whether the White House or the insurers win is hard to predict. Taxpayers will surely lose.
* * *
For the pivotal alternative to Obamacare, please see the Independent Institute’s widely acclaimed book: Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis, by John C. Goodman.