A threat by the nation’s largest health insurer to pull out of ObamaCare is a sign of the industry’s growing angst about the viability of the federal exchanges, sources close to the industry say.
UnitedHealthcare’s warning sent new shockwaves across the healthcare sector after weeks of mounting anxiety among private insurers whose participation in the exchanges is critical to the viability of the president’s signature law.
In the last month alone, insurers have learned that the Obama administration has significantly lowered its expectations for new customers and will have far fewer federal dollars to help cushion insurer losses.
I can just hear all those nay-Sayers “Here’s proof that Obamacare is a failure!” and in some ways I agree with them. Private insurers are certainly the weakest link in the current system.
I have been on Medicare for about 5 years now and have been paying about $100 a month for that privilege. It covers 80% of my medical costs so I must either pay the remainder or get Medigap coverage for the other 20%. I chose a Medigap policy that started out at about $150 a month to cover that last fifth of the costs. Now that policy is up to almost $200 and will climb to over $300 in the coming years.
It doesn’t take a lot of math to figure out that I am paying a private “for profit” insurer ten time more for the same dollar coverage that Medicare provides. Yes, I know that Medicare is paid as a government expense but it has also been widely acknowledged as the most efficient insurance provider in the country. Single payer systems have proven to be the most economical way to provide healthcare to the world’s citizens. We are about the only first world country that refuses recognize that fact.
It seems obvious to this pragmatist that our country and especially our private corporations would be better off if they could shed their healthcare responsibilities and have Medicare as the country’s single payer provider of healthcare costs. In fact there are many companies that are doing just that. With single payer systems comes economy of scale and also increased leverage over medical manufacturers and such. Aside from a law pushed through by the GOP why do we in this country pay so much more for our prescriptions than anyone else in the world?
As a side note it seems that on a regular basis veteran’s care is attacked by problems of poor implementation. Our veterans are just not getting the quality of care that they deserve under their current system. Maybe it is time to at least fold it into Medicare instead of trying to stand alone. Almost half of our citizens are currently on government provided single payer system. When we finally manage to get the rest there like the rest of the world we will all be better off.