Whose Fault Is It? Obamacare Rates Are Going Up...

Obamacare is in trouble.

With just two weeks to go before Election Day, the White House announced Monday that premiums on the healthcare law's state-level exchanges will increase by an average of 22 percent next year.

Premiums on the federal exchanges will jump an average of 25 percent.


All this comes, of course, after three major healthcare companies almost entirely pulled out of the exchanges because they said they couldn't afford all the sick people who were signing up for coverage.

As a result of these dropouts - 1 in 5 Americans looking to buy insurance on the exchanges have only one healthcare provider to choose from.

That's right -- one.

And while next year's premium hikes will be somewhat moderated by the often very generous subsidies Obamacare provides -- at least according to the White House -- there's still a sense out there that this isn't just a bump in the road but instead a preview of dark days to come for healthcare reform.

Of course, Republicans screaming about a death spiral are being disingenuous -- they've never had a healthcare reform plan and still don't have one 5 years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law -- but there IS some truth to the Obamacare freak out.

For all the good things it does -- like do away with discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions -- the law still keeps in place the for-profit health insurance system, the root cause of most of our problems.

The most likely scenario to come out of this latest batch of Obamacare bad news is a few tweaks here and there -- but that's not going to do much in the long run.

We have two choices here:

One, we can either create a public option to inject some real competition into the market place, OR we can work towards single-payer, i.e. Medicare-for-all.

Complete repeal is not an option - not when Obamacare is already in place and so many people have benefited and continue to benefit from it.

We can - however - use it as baseline to move forward.

But are Republicans willing to accept this reality?


ckcoleman's picture
ckcoleman 6 years 30 weeks ago


TxPeon's picture
TxPeon 6 years 30 weeks ago

The Law was designed as a framework for Democrats and Republicans to build. As everyone knows, the Repugs, immediately turned their backs on the American people, thus it is declining, because of them.

As usual, the Repugs always turn their backs on America.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 6 years 30 weeks ago
Quote Thomm Hartmann:But are Republicans willing to accept this reality?

Republicans are delusional, they have no idea what 'reality' is; they only see the world the way they want to see it and anything that doesn't fit that 'reality', they're completely blind to.

Edward J. Dodson's picture
Edward J. Dodson 6 years 30 weeks ago

I have taught political economy for nearly four decades. Yet, what constitutes the most cost-efficient yet compassionate means of delivering health care eludes me. On moral grounds, it seems unacceptable that medical care should be a for-profit industry. Access to decent, affordable medical care ought to be a fundamental right as a member of a caring society. Society, then, should enable individuals to become doctors or nurses or other medical specialists without having to incur huge amounts of debt. Compensation could then be scaled based on where the need was greatest.

And, of course there have to be conditions and rules established for eligibility under a single-payer program. For example, if I was a physician I don't think I would accept a person as a patient who displays a flagrant disregard for his or her own health by engaging in risky behaviors. But, where to draw the line? Under what conditions should society stop providing medical care to the individual who is determined to be beyond recovery?

What then ought society do when the biological parents fail to provide a positive nurturing environment for the children they bring into the world. Is childhood obesity a sufficient cause to remove a child from the home because the parents are not providing nutrious food to eat?

What we have now does not work very well. We still have not reached consensus on where individual responsibility begins and ends and where societal responsibility begins and ends.

timallard's picture
timallard 6 years 30 weeks ago

If health care doesn't include dental and eye needs it's not for humans, right now most plans are for pill takers without preventitive cost plans those included up front bad dental health leads to many other health issues ...

and ...

The American food supply is why that's true according to non-biotech-bribed studies not "approved by the FDA" with more recalls and deaths per year for approved drugs than pot for sure ...

and ...

They want all the rights to marijuana, not able to prove it's not medicinal allowing state legalization, yet, not relinquishing status as a federally restricted drug so can bust commercial pot growers for medical marijuana as part of the market domination campaign.

If you want complete covereage under "single payer" vote Green Party and Jill Stein or it's Team Oligarch's pick -->> a previous Monsanto employee advocate or the picked loser to her so just who they want to win.

Bob Olhsson's picture
Bob Olhsson 6 years 30 weeks ago

While Obama care is going up, nobody is mentioning that employer rates are going up even more! We have a health care cost problem that has gotten buried in the political posturing. Single payer is a possible solution but I think it's time to go lots deeper than talking points.

Legend 6 years 30 weeks ago

Biggest mistake in the ACA was dealing with the Republican CEO's of the insurance companies. Just like the Republican Congress that voted some 50 times to overturn the ACA these CEO's want it to fail also. They work against it. We need medical cost control. We should not be paying 5 times for a procedure as is paid in the rest of the world. And we need to get profit oriented CEO's and their insurance companies out of it.

SpeakTruthToPower's picture
SpeakTruthToPower 6 years 30 weeks ago

Public Option is probably the best short term solution. Medicare-for-all is the best long term solution.

Republicans want everything to be privatized so they can make profit, even from people's suffering. That's unconscionable and sociopathic, maybe even psychopathic.

In Europe people may pay more taxes for health care than people in the U.S., but people in the U.S. pay way more out-of-pocket thus paying way more for health care than Europeans pay. And the U.S. is ranked 37th among nations in terms of the actual health care provided. So Americans pay more and get less.

The U.S. health care and health insurance system is as sick as the millions of Americans who have life threatening chronic illnesses.

We need single payer health care to heal the health care system.

And we need to get Americans off the standard American diet and get them to start eating a whole food plant based diet to heal Americans of all these chronic illnesses.

Watch a youtube video by Dr. Milton Mills in which he exhaustively goes through anatomy and physiology comparing carnivores with herbivores and shows conclusively that humans are herbivores. Thus, humans should be eating a plant based diet, not meat and dairy.

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 6 years 30 weeks ago

When the Democrats control Congress and the The White House
The First thing to do is reform elections for accuracy of the will of the people
Which will benefit everybody instead a few socio psychopaths.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 30 weeks ago

I do not understand all this prevarication and pedantic plonking around with semantics etc

What the US needs is a National Health program... period!

In accord with its status as the largest economy on the planet

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 30 weeks ago

All this who's to blame stuff is very school yard like... is it not?

jackiejones's picture
jackiejones 6 years 30 weeks ago

Healthcare is a four headed beast (insurance, doctors, hospitals and phrama). Obamacare only went after one head of the beast. The reason Medicare works is because they also control the price doctors, hospitals and phrama can charge.

jackiejones's picture
jackiejones 6 years 30 weeks ago

No. Getting to the root causes of a problem is step one!

jackiejones's picture
jackiejones 6 years 30 weeks ago

At the end of Bill Maher this week they finally went beyond insurance companies, and talked about doctors, hospitals, medical schools and phrama. Insurance companies just pass the money along and take a cut (Obamacare reduced that cut and should reduce it even more). But 3/4 of the problem is the medical profession has been overcharging for decades.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously