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    Did This Provider Deliver a Deathblow to Obamacare? “Even Insurance Companies Unable To Profit”

    Tyler Durden
    November 19th, 2015
    Zero Hedge
    Comments (79)
    Read by 6,634 people

    obamacare-affordable

    This article was written by Tyler Durden and originally published at Zero Hedge.

    Editor’s Note: Given that the insurance companies were the single biggest lobbyist for the Affordable Healthcare Act, it is a significant development that the largest company, UnitedHealth, is considering exiting from the business altogether due to an inability to turn a profit, and a frustration with the process. In the short term, the insurance provider is suspending its marketing plans for the individual exchange plan.

    Meanwhile, the mandatory health care “tax” has proven devastatingly unaffordable to most Americans, and premiums are still increasing at a skyrocketing rate. The penalties for not subscribing, though insulting to those who simply can’t afford the insurance, are still preferable to the untenable expenses that the federal law has forced upon the deteriorating middle class and the working poor whose health is perhaps most at stake. Is there any way out of this unfortunate experiment in socialism, or is the U.S. on a fatalistic path to repeat the failures of the UK and other socialist healthcare states?

    The Beginning Of The End For The Affordable Care Act? Largest US Health Insurer May Exit ObamaCare

    by Tyler Durden

    Tracking the slow motion trainwreck of Obamacare has become one of our preferred hobbies: below is just a random sample of headlines covering just the most recent tribulations of the “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” Unaffordable Care Act:

    But the most surprising article we wrote was our explanation from three weeks ago explaining why “Your Health Insurance Premiums Are About To Go Through The Roof” showing that even insurance companies have been unable to earn a profit under Obamacare, as shown in the following chart:

     

    This was a stunning revelation because, after all, the Affordable Care Act was largely drafted by the insurance industry itself, and if for whatever reason, it itself was unable to capitalize on Obamacare, then it has truly been a disaster.

    Today we got confirmation of this when none other than the U.S.’s biggest health insurer, UnitedHealth, cut its 2015 earnings forecast with a warning that it was considering pulling out of Obamacare, just one month after saying it would expand its presence in the program.

    According to Bloomberg, “UnitedHealth Group would scale back marketing efforts for plans it’s selling this year under the Affordable Care Act, and may quit the business entirely in 2017 because it has proven to be more costly than expected.

    This was precisely what we cautioned on November 2.

    Fast forward to today when UnitedHealth said in a statement that “the company is evaluating the viability of the insurance exchange product segment and will determine during the first half of 2016 to what extent it can continue to serve the public exchange markets in 2017.”

    Needless to say, the implications for Obamacare – which has seen a surge in tangential problems in recent months – are dire: “A pull-back would deal a significant blow to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. While UnitedHealth has been slower than some of its rivals to sell Obamacare policies since new government-run marketplaces for the plans opened in late 2013, the announcement may indicate that other insurers are struggling, said Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst at Mizuho Securities.

    “If one of the largest and presumably, by reputation and experience, the most sophisticated of the health plans out there can’t make money on the exchanges, then one has to question whether the exchange as an institution is a viable enterprise,” Skolnick said.

    UnitedHealth further said it suspended marketing its individual exchange plans and is cutting or eliminating commissions for brokers who sell the coverage.

    What is surprising is that for UnitedHealth, its Obamacare-facing exposure is relatively limited: the company covers fewer than 550,000 people on the Obamacare exchanges. About 9.9 million people had insurance through the U.S.- and state-run insurance markets as of June 30. This means that all other insurance companies must be getting crushed, something which the market also noticed earlier today hitting the stocks of not only hospitals, such as CYH, HCA, LPNT, THC and UHS but also home health care providers as well such as AFAM, AMED, GTIV and LHCG.

    What is perhaps even more perplexing is the abrupt shift in posture: just last month, UnitedHealth had struck a more optimistic note. I think we’ll see strikingly better performance on the insurance exchange business” next year, Chief Financial Officer David Wichmann told analysts on an Oct. 15 conference call.”

    Perhaps he had not seen the P&L? Oh well, he certainly did in the subsequently 4 weeks.

    The rest of the story is well-known and has been covered here extensively in the past: the inability of businesses to turn a profit from Obamacare has meant that about a dozen non-profit “co-op” plans created under the Affordable Care Act have failed, after charging too little to cover the cost of patients’ medical care, and because an Obama administration fund designed to stabilize the market paid out just 12.6 percent of what insurers requested. And Anthem last month said some rivals were offering premiums too low to provide the coverage patients require and book a profit.

    At the end of the day, the worst news is not for the corporations, since Obamacare is not going away any time soon. It simply means that what until now were supposedly Affordable plans under Obamacare, will soon become (even more) Unaffordable as insurer after insurer hikes premiums dramatically in order to make the biggest US governmental intrusion into the private sector in recent decades profitable to shareholders.

    Or, as we explained three weeks ago, “Your Health Insurance Premiums Are About To Go Through The Roof

    This article was written by Tyler Durden and originally published at Zero Hedge.

    Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary.
    The Most Trusted Tactical Gas Mask In The World
    Please Spread The Word And Share This Post

    Author: Tyler Durden
    Views: Read by 6,634 people
    Date: November 19th, 2015
    Website: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-19/beginning-end-affordable-care-act-largest-us-health-insurer-may-exit-obamacare

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

    79 Comments...

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    1. Mac (not that one) says:

      Nah, just pass off the cost using the socialist playbook to the 95% working Americans

      • KY Mom says:

        Obama master plan on health care over the years in his own words–SINGLE PAYER

      • Just heard more bad news about the government’s back foot policy to make future generations fall under the false category of mental illness. Doctors claim to be able to identify mental illness in ages 0 to three years. They can now legally prescribe psychotropic drugs for newborns. They are also treating pregnant women for the perfectly natural mood shifts associated with hormonal changes during pregnancy; thereby treating the unborn baby with psychotropic drugs. Also, they are giving school children questionnaires which are actually psychological tests designed to identify healthy kids as mental defects. There record will follow them for life. They will be refused jobs, guns, rights, freedoms. This is a diabolical evil.

      • Just heard more bad news about the government’s back foot policy to make future generations fall under the false category of mental illness. Doctors claim to be able to identify mental illness in ages 0 to three years. They can now legally prescribe psychotropic drugs for newborns. They are also treating pregnant women for the perfectly natural mood shifts associated with hormonal changes during pregnancy; thereby treating the unborn baby with psychotropic drugs. Also, they are giving school children questionnaires which are actually psychological tests designed to identify healthy kids as mental defects. There record will follow them for life. They will be refused jobs, guns, rights, freedoms. This is a diabolical evil.

    2. eppe says:

      We all knew that was going to happen.

      Be well all…

      • Exactly right Eppe –

        This is just one of many things that was doomed from the beginning.
        Most people should realize by now, that whatever the government touches or gets itself involved in. The results always ends up being an utter and complete failure!

      • Acid Etch says:

        The Pope has made many public comments affirming the goodliness of Islam.

        All you dumbasses talking about how only the church and God and Yeshua can defeat Islam.

        The pastor bastards have their heads up their asses. 40000 Christians have recently been murdered in the Middle East. Not on single word gets spoken by liberals or Pastors.

        The church has fallen to the wicked and the Sunday morning faithful.

        God calls YOU to fight against evil in this world.

        And I mean that quite sincerely.

        Judaism authorizes sex with baby girls.

        The more I learn about Islam and Judaism…

        the more I want to be with Yeshua.

        Blessed be the name of Christ Jesus, who came to redeem humanity.

      • Jim in Va. says:

        This was the plan from the beginning. Everyone will scream and moan about the high cost or unavailability of healthcare. The government will save the day with a one payer system, what the Dems wanted in the first place.

        • Genius says:

          I think the purpose of the whole thing is to DENY health care, TAX the shit out of us, create a national DEATH PANEL that will decide if you live or die. If you aint worth saving it’s bye bye big shit pie!

      • TheGuy says:

        Slightly faster than expected though.

        I gave it three or four years. One? That’s impressive. They’re learning how to fail faster.

    3. Satori says:

      I have to admit I am totally baffled by this

      my out of pocket health care expenses are actually going to decrease starting in January

      health care tip
      if you are on one of the brand name drugs and have to pay a higher deductible

      check on line to see if there is a discount card available
      meds such as Eliquis,Xarelto,Epi_Pens etc all have great discount programs

      one of my meds should be costing me $180 every 3 months
      I’m paying only $30

      • Yeah.... says:

        Yes, you are allowing your friends and neighbors to pay for your health needs. You must feel very proud! You admit that you know what your cost should be, but lo and behold you only pay a fraction of that amount. Just who do you think is paying? You worthless welfare slime (yes, that be you) always ready to let someone else pay for your benefits.

        You say you are baffled?

        Yeah, right…

      • smokey says:

        Your costs went down due to your income level. The true cost of your medical care stayed exactly the same, it’s being paid by others.

        I know a guy who has cost over $75,000 in medical expenses last year, without paying one dime out of his pocket. Thank God for Obamacare, eh?

      • MXLord327 says:

        Definitely look into the discount cards through the drug manufacturer!!!! I got a DVT blood clot in my leg last year and had to go on Xarelto for 15 months. It would have been $375 a month, but it was $5 per month for 9 months, then free!!!!!

    4. TnAndy says:

      What has happened is the folks that are really sick flocked to it (can’t be turned down), whereas the folks that are young/healthy looked at the premiums, the ridiculous co-insurance/deductible amounts (often run 5 to 10 grand before insurance pays a dime)and said “screw that…..I’ll take my chances”.

      Hence, it IS unprofitable for insurance companies.

      I guess they assumed the public was dumber than a coal bucket and would simply buy a lousy product because our fearless leader told them they had to.

      Turns out the govt can’t void the basic laws of economics just because they want to.

    5. Acid Etch says:

      NEARLY HALF OF THE WORLD’S MOOSE LIMBS ARE INBRED

    6. Lurker says:

      Last year for my employer’s annual enrollment, I picked UHC as it was one of two for choices for employer-subsidized health care. For next year they are not available as a choice now that the open enrollment window is apon us for next year’s coverage. The only provider available for next year is 15% more than what UHC cost me this year.
      So it would appear that UHC is pulling out of more than just the government run marketplaces.

    7. slingshot says:

      If Obamacare does a Dirt Dance, you can be sure the Ninny in the White House will double his effects to enact some Major Gun Control. Bet on it.

    8. PapaSmurf says:

      Obama’s whole schtik was/is to create widespread chaos; he cares not how that might look or in what form it manifests itself.

    9. Warchild Dammit! says:

      Papa,why are smurfs blue?Also,why is there it seems only one female smuf,and were then did all these smurfs come from,is she just “really friendly”?

    10. Anonymous says:

      Obamacare is still heavily supported.

      By those who are heavily subsidized.

      Not as much by those paying for the subsidizing.

    11. Sgt. Dale says:

      Made to fail. Single payer is what they want just to screw with us some more..
      Sgt.

    12. Warchild Dammit! says:

      Arch,I thought one would snap the stem to see the blue,OK,not tried meself with fresh but what I heard!Thanks for the female smurf clarification,one ? off of me bucket list!

      • Archivist says:

        I only read about the mushrooms. My yard is full of different types of mushrooms at times, but I wouldn’t touch them because most of them are poisonous, and I can’t tell which is which. My wife won’t eat mushrooms, so there’s no need for me to worry about them.

    13. 2isone says:

      Kaboom. And the kicker is that some folks who got subsidies will have to repay some money to the IRS because they didn’t make good enough guesses at their income. Ther’s also the “fine” this year, and the next and the next in ever increasing amounts. The Laffordable Care Act.

    14. HombreArgentum says:

      Obama to announce it’s Bush’s fault in 3…2…

    15. My grandfather stayed away from doctors but took meticulous responsibility for his own health. He woke up with a doctor with saw in hand prepared to cut off his leg. He had shrapnel in his leg but he never died and he never got gangrene. Do yourself a favor. Raise your own chickens (grandpa had a chicken store). Grow fruit trees and nut trees or any kind of tree, bush, vine, flower and herb. And learn what herbs are good for what ails you. Doctors are good for setting broken bones or for patching you up when you jump from a plane without a parachute, but we Americans are way too dependent on the medical establishment.

      • CommonCents says:

        B from CA — today’s Drs cure nothing and are only good for certain types of injuries, and in case of serious infection, antibiotics. Otherwise they are pretty useless…. businessmen in white coats with medical degrees.

        • AGENT SKINHEAD says:

          I’m glad that they can prescribe morphine.

          It may not be the best way for some folks but I’m grateful that they have it.

        • Lurker says:

          I met a doctor that used to refer to himself as heart surgeon but if now refers to himself as a cardiologist… He used to have skills but is now little more than a drug pusher since he no longer operates and only writes prescriptions.

    16. Rabbitone says:

      The objective of the Affordable Care Act is the bankrupt all the medical insurance industry. That was apparent from the insane list of required procedures in Obamacare, many procedures that were too expensive for insurance companies in the past. Once the insurance companies are all bankrupt uncle sugar becomes the only insurance plan left, that runs Billions of losses (made up for in higher and higher taxes)…

    17. Jim in Va. says:

      Health Insurance? Save the last bullet for yourself!

    18. grandee says:

      It’s the UN affordable care act

    19. Obamacare was never about healthcare. Doubtful the heath care industry will remain world class much longer as these sociopaths will turn the blame on the caregivers next.

    20. phenias option says:

      Will not pay for ACA, would not be prudent. Muslim refugees will get free health care you can be sure of that.

    21. Jimb says:

      They did not deal a deathblow to obamacare because that is the intended consequence. The insurance companies wont be able to survive so the federal government will have to become the sole insurer. That was the plan all along.

    22. Charley Waite says:

      Now watch, the Government will say those of us that have UnitedHealthCare policies will not be considered “insured” because we don’t have a government approved insurer

    23. Ketchupondemand says:

      You can, to a point, take charge of your own health.
      Your diet, in total, should be 75% alkaline, i.e., fruits, vegetables.
      Acidic foods cause many health problems in the amounts they’re consumed in North America.
      See an old classic, “Back to Eden” by Jethro Kloss circa 1947 or so. A lot of good information and recipes, although some info is a bit dated. As in:
      Coconut oil (he said small amounts ok, but was wrong about cholesterol content, none).
      You should not have ANY other oil in your kitchen besides coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. Get rid of corn oil, canola oil (“Canadian oil”= poison) and anything with soybean oil, and never use them again. It’s hard to find food without soybean oil so limit your intake as much as possible.
      See “Coconut Cures” by Dr. Bruce Fife (coconut research center dot org).
      No, I’m not a paid shill for this stuff but will tell you your numbers (triglycerides, etc. etc., will improve greatly within 6 months of coconut oil use.

    24. AGENT SKINHEAD says:

      I’ve just lost a tooth.
      Dentistry is far too expensive for me to afford.

      Anyways, I look pretty cool with a gap in my smile… Even if I do say so myself. BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

    25. Inside the pit of an apricot:

      Crack open the pit of an apricot. Inside you will find a seed. It tastes quite bitter. The magic is a secret. People who eat those seeds do not get Cancer. Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone. Radiologists using Chemo want to keep it hush hush. Bad for business.

      Organic and nonGMO. Plant a tree. Eat for free.

    26. Anonymous says:

      the law has a term called the 3 R’s. it’s what the ins companies have had to bank on. they stand for Risk Corridor, Risk Factor & Reinsurance. the 3 work together in a backwards concept that actually encourages (rewards) the ins companies for taking on bad risk (sick folks). The Govt promised to pool the risk and make all the ins companies whole if they had significant losses. but the Govt only paid out 12% of what they promised to reimburse the ins companies. also this provision goes away after 2016, so they are all in a world of hurt and their only way out is to raise your rates, limit available access through narrow Dr networks and decrease benefits. it was designed to fail from the start.

    27. Eric in America says:

      The insurance industry is the biggest bunch of bs crooks in this sad, sorry excuse of a country anymore. DOn’t believe any of their cry-baby bs and stop pandering to the shareholders above everything else for God sakes.

     

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