There have been many articles in the last year with some variation of the headline “GOP Surrenders on Obamacare.” The stories mostly concern a tendency among some Republican policy elites to adopt the Washington conventional wisdom that Obamacare cannot be repealed because it has already become deeply entrenched in American life.
Those Republicans might want to reconsider. A series of developments in recent days suggests Obamacare is in perilous condition and could become even more troubled in months to come.
On Thursday, UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest healthcare company, announced huge losses from the sale of Obamacare plans and threatened to pull out of the exchanges altogether. “We cannot sustain these losses,” CEO Stephen Hemsley said. “We can’t really subsidize a marketplace that doesn’t appear at the moment to be sustaining itself.”
The news came on top of weeks of reports of rising costs for consumers. “Insurers have raised premiums steeply for the most popular plans at the same time they have boosted out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance in many of their offerings,” the Wall Street Journal reported.