By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief
(National Sentinel) Healthcare reform: The Obamacare disaster continues to unravel, trapping millions of Americans in unusable, unaffordable health insurance nightmares, while Congress continues to dither and dally over what to do about it, to the detriment of the country.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Minuteman Health of Massachusetts and New Hampshire said it would leave all Affordable Care Act exchanges next year, making it the 19th Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (co-op) to fail and leaving just four in operation.
Minuteman said it would stop writing business and issuing policies within the co-op January 1, 2018, and instead organize under a new company, Minuteman Insurance Company. Officials with the firm said problems and issues related to Obamacare’s risk-adjustment program — which moves funds away from co-ops with healthier enrollees to co-ops with more sick people — as a principle driver of its decision.
The company said that the negative impact of its participation in the co-op has been “substantial.”
“Unfortunately, the program has not worked as intended,” said the company in a statement. “It has been difficult for insurers to predict their risk-assessment obligations, which has led some to withdraw from the ACA market.
“The program also unfairly penalizes issuers like MHI that are small, low cost, and experience high growth,” the company added. “The significant relative impact from risk adjustment has been the principal driver of a reduction in MHI’s surplus and capital over 2 [sic] time.”
Minuteman is only the latest insurer to bail out of Obamacare’s exchanges, but those that have left them all cite the same thing: Obamacare is causing them to lose millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, as the system falters and more and more Americans have less and less choice when it comes to choosing a health insurance plan they can afford, Congress dithers and dallies over what to do about it.
The answer is simple: Repeal Obamacare and replace it with a system that allows the free-market to work.
As I wrote recently at The National Sentinel, for Americans who don’t rely on government-issued insurance coverage like Medicaid, Veterans Administration and even Medicare, the federal government should not now have — and, for that matter, never should have assumed — “management” of, and control over, the private health insurance and delivery markets:
Seriously – how did we get to the point where Americans and their health care providers must bow down before self-anointed bureaucrats and elected officials and seek their permission and approval for the manner in which their care is to be paid for and delivered? Why is this no longer a decision between the private sector and consumer, between patient and health care provider?
To me, the answer is simple: Congress should write and pass legislation that retracts any and all government control over anyone who obtains their coverage in the private sector, either through an employer or by purchasing it themselves. This will accomplish several goals.
First, Americans would only have to purchase plans that they wanted. They would not be required to purchase a “minimum” package set forth by government regulators that includes, for example, men being forced to purchase obstetrical coverage. This would allow insurers to tailor coverage plans to specific needs, and in the process reduce the price of those plans.
Secondly, empowering the private sector would spur competition among insurers. The resulting competition would result (as it always does) in more choice, less cost, and higher efficiency.
Third, Americans who are currently on government insurance plans may finally have an incentive to get off of them. There would be far less restrictions, less paperwork, less hassle and fewer rules to deal with in the private sector.
Fourth, Americans interested in alternative medicine and treatment would be free to seek out those who provide naturopathic and holistic care, and may even be able to purchase health insurance that covers such treatment.
This is what real health freedom looks like. (RELATED: Hysterical Democrats who say health care reform will “kill people” don’t seem to realize how many Americans are already killed every year by the medical system)
As Congress “debates” what to do about collapsing Obamacare, they aren’t being asked the right question: Why does the government have to “manage” our health care in the first place?