During his weekly press conference Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a bill to repeal Obamacare would be introduced next week. “After the House returns following the Presidents Day, we intend to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Ryan said. He added, “It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing.
“Look at the events that happened this week. On Tuesday another major insurance company announced that it too will leave the marketplace. In its decision, Humana cited a lack of young people signing up, a problem that has dogged Obamacare for years now.
“And then on Wednesday, the CEO of Aetna, another large insurance carrier, said that Obamacare is in a death spiral. His words…Obamacare is not simply stuck in some kind of status quo, it is getting worse by the day and it will keep getting worse unless we act. We need to rescue people from this collapsing law.”
Ryan could have actually added some things to his list of bad news for Obamacare. In a story appropriately titled “A bad week for Obamacare” Politico noted another bit of bad news. Molina insurance, which was frequently cited as an industry success story last year, now seems to be considering dropping out of Obamacare after unexpected losses:
Molina — which had expected a $60 million profit on the exchanges for 2016 — reported a $110 million loss on Wednesday, and will assess ongoing participation at a later date. “There are simply too many unknowns with the marketplace program to commit to our participation beyond 2017,” said CEO Mario Molina.
And though it didn’t happen this week, just two weeks ago Cigna indicated that it was going to review its participation in the Obamacare market for 2018 after projecting it would continue to lose money in 2017. During a conference call, Cigna’s CEO David Cordani called the marketplaces “unsustainable.”
Here’s Ryan’s full weekly press conference. His statement about Obamacare comes at the very beginning of the clip.