Oops: NC BCBS Considers Dropping Out Of Obamacare

Well, color me shocked

(Winston Salem Journal) North Carolina’s largest health insurer is considering dropping coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that Blue Cross and Blue Shield expects to report its second consecutive financial loss as it deals with cost overruns.

CEO Brad Wilson said Wednesday the company cannot continue to suffer losses indefinitely in North Carolina. Wilson said the company may have to decide later this year whether to stop offering coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The company raised rates by nearly one third this year but says it was not enough to cover losses.

This is on top of United Healthcare announcing in November 2015 that they were considering the same, and would pretty much leave Aetna as the only ACA provider left.

I was listening to local talk radio this morning on this, and the doctor they had on said this was caused by a flaw in Ocare. I disagree: it’s a feature. We had this discussion as Ocare was being considered, and right after it was passed and we could see the whole thing, and driving insurance companies out of business, as well as out of the Exchanges, is purposeful, as the government could now say ” well, listen, we tried it the free market way, look what happens, we need government to directly provide the insurance.” This is all a step towards single payer.

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17 Comments

Comment by Jeffery
2016-02-12 15:52:34

If it is, as you believe, a feature, than it’s well-played by President Obama by outflanking the Republicans.

Single payer healthcare would save Americans a trillion dollars a year.

 
Comment by John
2016-02-12 16:44:10

Teach what type of healthcare do your workers get ?

 
Comment by david7134
2016-02-12 16:50:23

Jeff,
Single payer care would bankrupt the US, if it is not already there. It would significantly reduce the quality of care and would cost the average individual an excessive amount of money out of pocket. Those the tout single payer have no idea as to what they are talking about.

 
Comment by JGlanton
2016-02-12 23:40:46

A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that private health insurance premiums will continue to balloon over the next decade thanks in large part to Obamacare.

The report states that, over the next 10 years, private health insurance premiums will increase by about 5 percent annually — a rate that outpaces the gross domestic product by 2 percentage points.

By 2025, employment-based coverage (health-care insurance an employer offers) will cost 60 percent more than it does today. For a family, that increase costs to an average of $24,500 per year. For those with an individual plan, health-care costs will increase to cost an average $10,000 per year.

What’s driving these price increases? Obamacare.

The CBO report states that Obamacare’s costly federal mandates on insurance companies — like forcing them to cover everyone regardless of preexisting conditions — increased costs of individual, or non-group, health-care plans (which account for 15 percent of all plans) by 27 to 30 percent.

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51130-Health_Insurance_Premiums.pdf

 
Comment by Hoss
2016-02-12 23:57:17

How did Obama outflank the Republicans, they were a non-entity in the passage of Obamacare. And since you’re bullshitting, why not claim socialized medicine will save America a bazillion dollars a year (and service will be much better…promise). And, as if you lefties have ever cared about saving the American taxpayer money.

 
Comment by Jeffery
2016-02-13 01:00:09

dava,

The universal healthcare systems of other nations (some of them single payer) have not bankrupted those nations. In fact they spend about half of what we spend per person and they cover ALL their residents.

We understand why you would oppose this as you say you pay $400,000 a year in federal taxes (so your income from poor Medicaid patients must be well over $1 million a year!).

BTW, if the US goes “bankrupt” we’ll be experiencing problems much worse than “bankruptcy”.

Hose,

How will it save a trillion? It’s called arithmetic, not BS. Americans spend about $9000 per person on healthcare. $9 x 10e3 x 3 x 10e8 = 2.7 x 10e12 or 2.7 trillion dollars per year. If other countries can deliver healthcare for half what we do, we should be able to trim a mere trillion from our 2.7 trillion bill.

 
Comment by Jeffery
2016-02-13 01:10:58

JGlanton,

Was the prose in your comment contained in the citation? If not, where was it from, thanks?

 
Comment by Dana
2016-02-13 11:19:31

Thing is, we already have a great example of a single-payer health care system in this country, the Veterans’ Administration. And the VA Hospitals have done just what the single-payer systems in other countries have done, stretching out care to move appointments into the next fiscal year, and to try to reduce the total amount of care given, hoping that some of the patients will be good enough to go ahead and die before their next appointments, saving the VA the cost of that care.

What is an outrageous scandal in the VA in the United States is simply business as usual in places like Canada and the United Kingdom. We’re only shocked because people in the for-profit health care system get good, prompt care. The government’s own inspector general concluded that 30,000 VA patients died while waiting for care from our single-payer VA system, but, when I needed to see the doctor I was able to get an appointment for the very next day, and even that one-day delay was due to my physician being off on Mondays; had I wished, I could have been seen by another physician in that office the afternoon of the day I called.

 
Comment by Jeffery
2016-02-13 12:19:37

Dana,

You cited a FOX”News” report claiming 300,000 vets died waiting for the VA. You claim 30,000. The VA IG report doesn’t say, but recommends the VA do a better job of tracking VA deaths. It’s reasonable to assume that some vets have died waiting for treatment.

It happens even more often outside the VA system, especially for people with no access to affordable care.

 
Comment by Dana
2016-02-13 14:09:21

Jeffrey, if yo open the actual IG report, you’ll see, on page one:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
At the request of the Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) evaluated the merit of allegations of mismanagement at the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Health Eligibility Center (HEC). Specifically, we addressed these four questions:

1. Did the HEC have a backlog of 889,000 health care applications in a pending status?
2. Did 47,000 veterans die while their health care applications were in a pending status?
3. Were over 10,000 veteran health records purged or deleted at the HEC?
4. Were 40,000 unprocessed applications, spanning a 3-year time period, discovered in January 2013?

Read further, and you will see that the IG stated that the second, third and fourth allegations were “substantiated,” and the first had an unclear answer due to poor data. It’s a common misdirection of the left to yell about the source, without checking.

The VA system is a perfect example, under American conditions, of what a single-payer system would be like here. It’s like every other single-payer system: the administrators have to find ways to keep costs down, and the VA resorted to the same tactics used by the UK and Canada. What Americans saw as a scandal was simply common practice in other countries’ single-payer systems.

 
Comment by david7134
2016-02-13 14:14:42

Jeff,
As a matter of fact, the universal health care in other countries is bankrupting them and none of them have to pay out for 330 million people. As to my salary, I would actually make more under single payer.

 
Comment by Hoss
2016-02-13 18:55:12

It’s absolutely fucking stunning that these morons want a system exactly like the VA and the failed health systems of other countries. stunning. I know, I know, America’s leftist will do it much, much better; the same lie we get every time they want to socialize something.

 
Comment by Hoss
2016-02-13 18:56:58

And jeffery, any time you guys talk about money being saved with your selective math, we know to easily triple if not quadruple+ your estimates. Minimum.

 
Comment by Jeffery
2016-02-13 23:15:46

The health systems of other countries are not “failed”. And they serve all their residents. A nation spending twice as much per person as necessary and ignoring 10% of its population might be considered failed.

Medicare is also a single payer system, serving a population that private insurance is happy to push off onto government.

A single payer system is just like insurance except without profit and marketing.

 
Comment by Hoagie
2016-02-14 11:34:28

Jeff, if single payer systems are better why are they mandatory? If they were better wouldn’t people join without being forced to? I think we should have a single payer system just for people like you Jeffery. We could call it “Medicaid” and have it available for anyone who can’t get private insurance. Would you care to join?

Unfortunately Jeffery, like most naïve, foolish leftists, you want the best health care money can buy like a private system but you don’t want your money to buy it, you want somebody else’s money to buy it. And you want it bought for everybody but paid for by someone else. So basically you’re a thief who wants to steal other people’s money to pay for a product they don’t want but you do.

You’re like the cheap clown at the bar drinking beer till I buy a round then suddenly he likes Johnny Walker Black.

 
Comment by Hoagie
2016-02-14 11:41:30

The health systems of other countries are not “failed”.

Jeffery, if their systems are not failed why do their leaders and their wealthy citizens come here for treatments? Why do an estimated 60-85,000 people a year cross our border for medical treatment?

 
Comment by Jeffery
2016-02-14 12:29:23

Hoggie,

How many Americans go outside the US for healthcare and pharmaceuticals?

Each year, millions of Americans travel outside the US for medical treatment. Millions is a bigger number than 85,000.

Single payer systems are not mandatory. You can always buy additional private insurance or self insure. The taxes we pay to support universal social services are mandatory. Would you agree that a “leftist” could withhold 50% of her federal taxes if she didn’t support the military?

This does not mean single payer is necessarily the best system, just that our for-profit system has significant but fixable flaws. France has a great universal healthcare system that relies on private insurance, and they spend much less per person than we do.

Before the ACA, you may recall, millions of hard-working Americans couldn’t afford or even obtain health insurance because private insurers could refuse to serve those with pre-existing conditions. They could refuse to serve your sister, a survivor of breast cancer. They could refuse to serve your son, a Type I diabetic.

you want the best health care money can buy like a private system but you don’t want your money to buy it, you want somebody else’s money to buy it.

Hoggie, like most tightie righties you are full of shit. What supporters of universal healthcare want is a system like France’s where every resident has access to affordable healthcare for about half of what we pay for our lower quality system in the US. We understand why the doctors, lawyers, rich people, hospital execs, insurance company employees and execs, US pharma folks (and their minions) favor the status quo: it rewards them with billions of dollars that come from the pockets of hard-working men and women! It’s the redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy. Their minions – like you – support the status quo because your Republican public servants do other things you like (anti-abortion, voter suppression, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican etc) and the Repubs are in the pocket of the doctors, lawyers, hospital, insurance, etc etc. They scare you to keep you in line. Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Norway, Sweden, etc have all found a better way to deliver affordable healthcare to their citizens.

Why do millions of Americans travel outside the US for healthcare procedures? It’s much, much less expensive. It’s called a free market. There is an entire industry (and growing) arranging medical tourism. Wealthy stakeholders in the current system (doctors, patent attorneys, hospital execs, clinics) who continue to get rich argue that only American doctors and hospitals are to be trusted, yet they kill nearly 500,000 Americans EVERY YEAR with their sloppy work! 10 times that many Americans are seriously harmed by American doctors and hospitals.

 

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