Health care industry insiders are now publicly signaling that Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight, citing insurers fleeing the law’s exchanges due to diminishing profits caused by covering more sickly patients and fewer healthy ones.
The Guardian reports that academics and analysts are pointing to a confluence of factors that have caused President Barack Obama’s signature law to fall into a “death spiral,” including premium hikes and an increasingly risky patient pool. The result, they believe, is the ultimately the disintegration of the program.
“The exchanges are potentially on the cusp of falling apart,” David Howard, an associate professor at Emory University’s department of health policy and management, told the left-leaning British newspaper.
As insurers abandon a critical component of the program, patients have been left with dwindling options for coverage. In many cases, they end up with substandard policies that are more expensive and do not cover their preferred physicians or hospital networks.
Skyrocketing costs have forced many families out of the marketplace all-together, too, with some thrust onto Medicaid due to their inability to pay for private coverage. Others have opted to pay a fine instead of enrolling in costly private insurance or government-run Medicaid.
Liberal Obamcare advocates insist that premium hikes and restricted access to plans is just a normal part of market stabilization as insurers adjust to the law. But insurance companies disagree. Nearly all major providers in the U.S. have either left the Obamacare exchanges or have significantly curtailed their participation in the program.
Read more about how Obamacare is falling apart at The Guardian.