Aetna Inc will withdraw from 11 of the 15 states where it currently offers plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, becoming the latest of the major national health insurers to pull back sharply from the law’s signature marketplaces after steep financial losses.
This is playing out exactly as President Barack Obama (D) and his Democratic cronies knew it would ‘way back in 2010—they knew because health experts told them. These experts advised the Democrats that mandating insurance purchases and paying the sick to get it (those Federal subsidies) while requiring plan providers (no longer can they be called insurers) to provide coverage to all at the same “low” price would emphasize the sick over the healthy getting coverage. The experts also pointed out that this emphasis on sick customers relative to healthy ones would explode plan providers’ costs. Obama and his, though, chose to disregard this advice and to go with what they wanted to hear: the self-serving huzzahs of the likes of AARP, who thought they could make money by fronting for the plan providers and collecting a piece of the resulting premium stream through referrals and reselling plans.
Recall, too, that Aetna has merger plans with Humana that Obama’s Department of Justice is suing to block on the speculative grounds that at some future date the new entity might engage in anti-competitive practices. Never mind that the merger might also have allowed the combined insurers to be large enough to remain in Obamacare.
I wonder if anyone in the Obama administration might know of some beachfront property north of Santa Fe that they might be interested in selling us.