August 1, 2016

Obamacare “Frustration” Heading Clinton And Kaine’s Way

Obamacare has failed to live up to the claims President Obama and Congressional Democrats made to get it passed. Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, it is them, not President Obama, who could face the electoral consequences for its many failures. Both Clinton and Kaine have been strong supporters and defenders of Obamacare, a practice that looks more tone-deaf by the day.

Today, Hillary Clinton will campaign in Nebraska, a state hard-hit by Obamacare. In May, the Omaha World-Herald reported that 42,000 Nebraskans could see a whopping 34.9 percent health insurance premium increase. At the time, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) slammed the massive premium increase as “unaffordable, plain and simple.”

Nebraska also saw their co-op, CoOportunity Health, fail in 2015. This failure left 68,000 people in Iowa and Nebraska without the health insurance they had come to rely on. Tellingly, Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, admitted that CMS had harmed Nebraskans by not shutting down CoOportunity Health earlier:

“’I will say CoOportunity should never have been allowed to go into the 2015 year, either by the co-op or by ourselves, and I think that’s a very fair criticism in looking back,’ Slavitt said then.”

Unfortunately for Clinton and Kaine, today has also seen more bad news for Obamacare. In today’s Wall Street Journal one of Obamacare’s architects now admits that the push for consolidation in the medical industry, a significant feature of Obamacare, was a mistake. In fact, he says that it has had the opposite effect that they predicted:

“Well, the consolidation we predicted has happened: Last year saw 112 hospital mergers (up 18% from 2014). Now I think we were wrong to favor it. I still believe that organizing medicine into networks that can share information, coordinate care for patients and manage risk is critical for delivering higher-quality care, generating cost savings and improving the experience for patients. What I know now, though, is that having every provider in health care ‘owned’ by a single organization is more likely to be a barrier to better care.”

Obamacare co-ops have failed across the nation, not just in Nebraska. What was once a system designed to bring affordable healthcare to the states, has been an overwhelming disaster. Only seven of the original 23 co-ops are left. Furthermore, four co-ops have failed this year alone, leaving close to 100,000 people stranded:

“The latest round of failures poses an even thornier problem than earlier cases because enrollees’ coverage is now being disrupted in the middle of the year. That can increase patients’ out of pocket costs and make it harder to keep the same doctors. In Illinois, Oregon, and Ohio, a combined total of about 92,000 people are being forced to find a new plan. A co-op in a fourth state, Connecticut, will last until the end of the year.”

When Clinton and Kaine supported Obamacare they put the political legacy of Barack Obama over the needs of everyday Americans. With massive, unaffordable premium increases ravaging the finances of many families, this is an issue that will continue to be felt in this election.