A Republican talking point concerning Obamacare, manufactured by Aetna CEO Mike Bertolini, has just begun its own “death spiral” after a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation just poked it full of holes. Bertolini seems to have either not known what he was talking about or he was simply trying to obfuscate facts in order to keep the poor from receiving health care. Either should leave his board members wondering whether he is fit to lead the company.
“It’s in a death spiral,” Bertolini told The Wall Street Journal in February. Bertolini also predicted more insurers would simply quit the market altogether after Humana decided to call it quits on Obamacare starting in 2018.
Republicans pounced on the talking point and ever since it has been drilled into the Republican base by their elected officials. You couldn’t watch a Republican speak about the Affordable Care Act without hearing the words “death spiral.”
Well, now the Kaiser Family Foundation has put that phrase in the grave it sought to bury the poor and sick in.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation study:
“Early results from 2017 suggest the individual market is stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability. Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse.”
In fact, the study also says that large premium increases for some were only a one-time necessity to correct the market due to a larger than expected risk pool. In other words, there were more sick people than they thought. This means we shouldn’t expect any sharp increases in premiums now that the market has corrected itself.
This, however, is not solving the problem of insurers bailing on rural America. However, this could simply be just another hiccup in the market. The Congressional Budget Office is expecting the market to stabilize in most areas.
While this is great news for everyone benefitting from President Obama’s signature legislation, there are still millions of uninsured Americans that are not receiving care outside of an emergency room for one reason or another.
As Americans look to the uncertain future of their healthcare system only one truth remains clear: the only way to lower health care costs while covering all people in the United States is a single payer healthcare system. The health of our fellow humans should not be bartered for profit.
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