While Democrats argue about the dictionary definition of a “death spiral,” the signs are growing clearer every day that the demise of Obamacare is imminent. Costs are going up, insurance companies are pulling out, and the individual mandate has not been enough incentive for young, healthy Americans to plunge into the marketplace. Whether or not this fatal trajectory yet constitutes a death spiral or not, this law cannot stand unless it is changed…and soon.
Unfortunately, it looks like things are set to get worse. According to Jeffries analysts, Anthem Inc will probably pull out of most Obamacare individual insurance markets next year, a devastating blow to the program. If they do, they will be one of the last major insurers to go, following in the footsteps of Humana, Aetna, and UnitedHealth Group. All of them have abandoned the individual market due to financial losses.
If Anthem pulls out, it will leave many counties with only one Obamacare insurance provider, which will almost certainly lead to premiums that no one can possibly afford without considerable government help. In other cases, Anthem was already all there was. If they pull out in those markets, millions of Americans will not be able to purchase health insurance off the Obamacare system at all.
If Republicans need another reason to come back to the table on healthcare, let this be it. There needs to be compromise on all sides, but those compromises need to take place in the crafting process – not in the “here’s the bill, vote for it now” process. Treat the House conservatives with some respect and start acting like the majority party. Work with Trump and give him some power, even if you aren’t exactly thrilled about the legislation. You have to start somewhere.