House Republican doctors: ‘Obamacare is collapsing’

posted at 7:21 pm on October 17, 2016 by John Sexton

Three House Republicans—Rep. Michael Burgess, Rep. Tom Price and Rep. Phil Roe, all of whom are medical doctors— have co-written an opinion piece about Obamcare in which they conclude the law is “collapsing.” From Fox News:

ObamaCare is collapsing. Its utter failures become more obvious by the day…

Back in 2010 just before ObamaCare became law, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services forecast there would be 24.8 million individuals in the exchanges by 2016. The actual figure at the end of 2016 according to Avalere Health will be 10.1 million.

In short, the exchanges are failing. The plans available are too expensive and come with too few choices. Younger, healthier individuals have little interest in paying exorbitant premiums for insurance plans that come with $5,000 deductibles. The result has been an unbalanced insurance pool where insurers must charge ever-increasing premiums to continue offering coverage.

The authors do credit Obamacare with reducing the number of uninsured by millions but say that most of the reduction was a function of placing people in “a failing Medicaid program” where patients “struggle to find doctors who see Medicaid patients.”

This being an election year, the piece eventually turns to Hillary Clinton who, the authors say, wants to “double-down” on Obamacare by adding more taxpayer money for more subsidies:

Her other scheme is to add a so-called “public option” plan even though we’ve already seen the disastrous ObamaCare co-op experience – the original compromise to a public option in the ACA. Under the law, 23 states setup co-ops (state-based public options) and accepted nearly $2 billion in federal loans, and yet 17 of these co-ops have collapsed with the rest on the verge of collapse, leaving hundreds of thousands of individuals without insurance while facing penalties under ObamaCare’s individual mandate. Notably, Clinton’s running mate Senator Tim Kaine is not among the 32 Democratic Senators cosponsoring Senate Resolution 561 calling for a public option.

Finally, as if ObamaCare’s total collapse is not imminent enough, Clinton also wants to add illegal immigrants to ObamaCare at the same time that America’s veterans aren’t getting the care they deserve.

The authors do an solid job highlighting the bad news Obamacare is facing as it approaches another open enrollment period, one in which premiums are scheduled to rise significantly nationwide. One thing conspicuously absent, however, is a plan for fixing these problems. The authors conclude that Republicans will “fight for a patient-centered system” starting next year. But what does this mean exactly? I’d be interested in reading a follow-up piece from these Republican doctors, one that focuses on solutions.


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