Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Since being fully implemented in 2014, Obamacare continues over-promising and under-delivering. Further evidence of this trend includes announcements from many health insurers that they will significantly draw back or pull out completely from offering coverage in the various state exchanges created under the law.

Aetna is the most recent insurer to announce that it will only be participating in a limited number of public exchanges next year, with CEO Mark Bertolini noting that it will now only offer coverage on the exchanges in four states – down from 15 previously. This move by Aetna follows similar announcements from other large insurance companies including Humana, UnitedHealth Group and Anthem.

Citing problems with the unbalanced risk pool, Aetna’s decision only confirms what I and many others have been saying since before the legislation was passed into law: Obamacare creates more problems than it solves–and things are only getting worse.

As today's  Arkansas Democrat Gazette editorial [subscription required] points out “in practice Obamacare has never measured up to its inflated promise.” 

Obamacare is already estimated to cost over $1 trillion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). With more and more insurance companies and consumers recognizing that Obamacare is driving premiums and deductibles up, and that quality of care is going down, the viability of the law is now increasingly coming into question.

What is clear is that premiums continue to skyrocket, deductibles are rising and the average hardworking American is finding it more and more difficult to find and pay for adequate health insurance.

In December 2015, Congress passed a budget bill that included a provision repealing Obamacare, but the president predictably vetoed it. Despite the mounting evidence, President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services are continuing efforts to prop up this disastrous program instead of acknowledging its failures and working with Congress to create a sustainable solution to the health insurance crisis for consumers, providers and insurers.

Arkansans, and Americans all across the country, have seen firsthand what a failure Obamacare has been. Until this administration recognizes that the law is hurting families and preventing real, market-based reforms to our healthcare system, we can expect more announcements like Aetna’s.

Obamacare is not affordable, nor is it fixing the problems within the healthcare industry.  It is failing. And the President should work with the Republican-led Congress to repeal and replace it.