Back in the summer of 2016, as Obamacare rates were being set for the 2017 plan year, we repeatedly argued that the entire system was on the “verge of collapse” as premiums were soaring, risk pools were deteriorating and insurers were pulling out of exchanges all around the country leaving many Americans with just a single ‘option’ for health insurance (see “Obamacare On “Verge Of Collapse” As Premiums Set To Soar Again In 2017“).
And while Democrats may be all too willing to quickly dismiss our analysis, just a few weeks ago we suggested that they should at least listen to the warnings of the CEO of one of the country’s largest health insurers who said that Obamacare is in a “death spiral.” In speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said, among other things, that the “risk pools are deteriorating in the ACA” to a point that it would inevitably result in more withdrawals this year. Per The Hill:
“It’s not going to get any better; it’s getting worse.”
“That logic shows just how much the risk pools are deteriorating in the ACA,” Bertolini said.
He added: “I think you will see a lot more withdrawals this year. … There isn’t enough money in the ACA as structured, even with the fees and taxes, to support the population that needs to be served.”
“It is in a death spiral,” he said, but did not say whether Aetna would participate in the exchanges in 2018.
All that said, we suspect that certain members of Congress don’t like to read all that much and are more “visual learners.” As such, we thought the following graphics, which clearly depict the epic collapse of Obamacare, may help lend some perspective to Democrats who are vehemently fighting to preserve a system that is clearly very broken.
Before we get into what could happen (and most likely will happen) over the next couple of years, here is a look at what has already happened to insurance coverage “options” for consumers across the nation. As can clearly be seen, coverage options, particularly for people of the southeast and mid-west, have been decimated. (Dear Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, please note that all of the below happened well before President Trump moved into the White House).
Charts per Bloomberg: