Obamacare gives big windfall to insurance companies as quality of healthcare declines. Estimates for 2016 show that insurance companies around the country are seeking premium rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under Obamacare turned out to be sicker than expected. Not only are insurance companies shifting more costs onto patients, but across the country, insurers are restricting access to care and choice by limiting the number of doctors and hospitals they provide in a coverage network. Insurance plans on government-run Obamacare exchanges on average have 34 percent fewer hospitals and doctors — including specialists — in their provider networks than health policies sold outside those exchanges or offered by employers.
The fact is insurance companies are knowingly violating the intent of Obamacare, which was to provide quality health care and improved choices in services through more competition. Instead, insurers are keeping patients from seeing the physicians or specialists they need and, as a result, forcing many Americans to choose between taking on the financial burden of out-of-network costs or forgoing treatment altogether.
Meanwhile, as Americans are suffering from rising costs and less access to quality health care, the biggest winners from the passage of Obamacare are the insurance giants. In the aftermath of the government health care takeover, there has been an explosion of health insurance company profits, windfalls and megamergers. As “stock market darlings,” health insurance company profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs and stocks have split even thanks to the health care law.
Smart money began buying insurance stocks when Obamacare was passed (illegitimately with sneaky trickery by Democrats in the Senate) because they had been assured that a big new class of customers was virtually guaranteed to them. When the government forces people to buy your product you can do pretty well. Just ask corn farmers and the ethanol kings.
Pretending to help the uninsured to hide a plan to enrich government cronies, is what Obamacare really is. But remember, Democrats are the party of the little guy.
Down the road: If single payor eventually becomes a reality using Obamacare as a stepping stone, the insurance companies will have made a Faustian bargain with the Devil.