You remember how the average family was going to save $2,500 a year on “health care,” and how if you liked your plan and your doctor, you could keep them, right? After all, the president of these United States looked us right in the eye and told us so. Well, that was then — the baited hook to get us to fall for the scheme — and this is now:
State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states.
Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million and enrolled 8,200 customers for individual coverage in 2015. Unable to sustain itself, the state marketplace is turning over sign-ups to the federal HealthCare.gov for 2016.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia fully control their markets. Experts estimate about half face financial difficulties. Federal taxpayers invested nearly $5 billion in startup grants to the states, expecting that state markets would become self-sustaining. Most of the federal money has been spent, and states have to face the consequences.
“The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents,” said a statement from the office of Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige, announcing last month that his state’s sign-ups were being turned over to the federal government.
Obamacare never had anything to do with “affordability” or even “health care.” It was merely Obama’s camel’s nose under the tent, in order to seize control of the insurance industry by forcing the citizens to buy their products, then offer substandard, expensive plans and provide taxpayer subsidies for those who — surprise! — couldn’t afford the new mandates. And now you know what the plan really was all along.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the Obama administration can keep subsidizing premiums in all 50 states through HealthCare.gov, no longer is there a downside for states turning to Washington. If the decision had gone the opposite way, state exchanges would have been a leaky lifeboat for preserving a major expansion of taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the law. With the pressure gone, “I think you are going to see much more of a hybrid across the nation,” said Peter Lee, who heads California’s state-run marketplace. Covered California fell short of its sign-up projections this year by nearly 20 percent, but Lee says it remains “a solid business proposition.”
Obama knew it, the Democrats knew it, some of us knew it. The Supreme Court knew it, too, and twice the justices could have put this unconscionable fraud to sleep, and twice they failed. Thank you, Chief Justice John Roberts.
Oh, and look: Another Obamacare ‘Exchange’ Bites the Dust