Originally published November 22 2015
Half of Obamacare's co-ops have now collapsed as delusional socialist health care scheme implodes
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) While there was some partisan opposition to President Obama's health care reform law when he first proposed it during the 2008 campaign, most of those who claimed it would never perform as advertised were economists and medical experts who had no political dog in the fight.
It turns out those critical experts were right, time and again, and that Obama and the Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care Act were the partisan hacks.
In fact, as reported recently by WorldNetDaily, almost half of those newly created co-ops, which are formally known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, have either failed or are well on their way to failing, proving once again that big government, for all its hype, is not capable of mimicking the success of the free market.
But the bad news doesn't end there. With failing co-ops comes the disturbing fact that nearly a half-million Americans who were either duped or forced into them are now left without health insurance coverage and, hence, in violation of the Obamacare individual mandate which says you must carry coverage or face Uncle Sam's wrath (and a fine).
As with other failures of Obamacare in the past, the president and his minions in the federal bureaucracy are doing what they do best – craning their necks to look the other way and shift blame, all while ignoring that a problem even exists.
Some in Congress have noticed the trend, and that includes Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. In a recent Wall Street Journal piece Smith outlined several co-op failures.
Law was supposed to cover everyone"When it passed Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act offered substantial financial support to create nonprofit health-insurance plans. Today 11 of the 23 such regional Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans have failed—seven since the beginning of October," Smith wrote.
"They've collapsed despite federal startup loans totaling more than $1.1 billion. These loans will likely never be fully repaid, while insurers and consumers will be on the hook for any unpaid claims left behind by failed insurers," he noted further.
In the end, Smith believes that between 400,000–500,000 Americans have been stripped of their insurance coverage after 11 co-ops have failed, and this when policyholders are being forced to endure double-digit-percentage rate increases and large increases in deductibles, making out-of-pocket insurance costs nearly unbearable (and unaffordable) for many.
In a follow-up interview with Radio America, Smith added that the co-ops never had a chance to be successful because they were essentially designed to fail.
Obama administration 'dismissive'"I think they were improperly structured. They were allowed to charge too low a premium, not reflecting the actual costs. They thought the original subsidies – or loans if you will, but let's face it, they're subsidies, especially since they're so unlikely to be repaid. That wasn't enough," said Smith, who says the more he learns how the collapses came about, the angrier he becomes.
"The more I am learning about this entire situation, the more offensive it is, and this is just one part of Obamacare," Smith said.
Smith, like many Obamacare opponents, is also put off by the fact that millions of people – not just those affected by the failing co-ops – were tossed out of health insurance plans they both liked and could afford. Obamacare requires each policy to contain a minimum set of benefits – in many cases much more than average Americans ever wanted or needed. That in particular has driven the higher premiums, say experts, along with the law's requirement that companies must now cover persons with preexisting conditions.
"The thing that bothers me the most is when a good, upstanding citizen is doing everything they're supposed to do to be a responsible individual," Smith said during his Radio America interview. "Yet they are faced with canceled coverage, or they're faced with a penalty for taking care of themselves."
Adding to the frustration – for Smith and millions of Americans around the country – is the indifference to the problem demonstrated by the Obama administration, as evidenced by the behavior of administration officials when they appear before his committee to discuss aspects of the law, the lawmaker said.
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