Obamacare On "Verge Of Collapse" As Premiums Set To Soar Again In 2017

Tyler Durden's picture

If Obamacare enrollments continue their current trend and insurers continue to hike premiums at alarming rates then Republicans may not have to worry about "repealing and replacing Obamacare" as it might just work itself out "naturally".  The 4th open enrollment period for Obamacare begins on November 1, 2016 and industry experts are warning that another year of tepid demand from "young and healthy" Americans could force more insurers out of the exchanges effectively marking the end of Obamacare as we know it.  According to a story published by The Hill, 11 million people bought health insurance through the exchanges for 2016 which was drastically below the Congressional Budget Office's initial projection of 21 million. 

Well we're shocked!  Turns out that whole "adverse selection bias" was a real thing.  So you're telling us that young, healthy people don't want to pay for insurance they know they'll never use?  We guess America's youth can actually do basic math, after all.  Apparently they were able to figure out they would rather take the lower tax associated with Obamacare penalties than the larger tax associated with buying a healthcare policy they'll never use.  We guess Millennials are a little less enthusiastic about embracing socialism when the costs are coming out of their pockets.

With America's youth continuing to shun health insurance, insurers are all racking up massive losses on the exchanges.  For many insurers the losses will simply result in massive premium hikes but others have decided to withdraw from the exchanges all together.  In fact, UnitedHealthCare recently announced plans to exit most state exchanges by 2017 (see our post entitled "Largest US Health Insurer Exits California, Illinois Obamacare Markets")  Per The Hill:

In the last month, two major insurers – Aetna and Anthem – both reversed course on their plans to expand in the marketplace. Now, all five of the nation’s largest insurers say they are losing money on the exchanges.


“From a policy point of view, we’re basically seeing the exchanges unravel,” said Michael Abrams, a healthcare strategist with Numerof & Associates who consults for insurers including UnitedHealthGroup.

2016 average premiums were up substantially in most states (see map below) and, with no one making money, 2017 seems no better.  According to The Hill:

Already, many insurers this year are proposing substantial rate hikes with the hopes of making up for higher recent medical costs. The average premium increase next year is about 9 percent, according to an analysis of 19 cities by Kaiser Family Foundation. But some hikes are far higher: Blue Cross Blue Shield has proposed increases of 40 percent in Alabama and 60 percent in Texas.

Obamacare Premium Map

For her part, Hillary Clinton has vowed to stick with Obamacare insisting that taxpayers just need to spend more money on advertising to drive higher enrollments:

Clinton has already laid out plans to help boost enrollment by making coverage more affordable for people who are still priced out of ObamaCare.


Like Obama, she vowed to invest in advertising and in-person outreach to help more people enroll. Clinton would also increase ObamaCare subsidies so that customers spend no more than 8.5 percent of their income on premiums – down from 9.5 percent under current law.


She has also proposed a tax credit of up to $5,000 per family specifically to offset rising out-of-pocket costs – a side effect of cheaper plans offered under ObamaCare.

Right, more advertising should fix it because no one in the country is familiar with Obamacare.  As Obama likes to say when things don't go as planned, it's not that Obamacare is bad it's just that we've failed to explain it properly.  No, we think people get it and they just don't like it.   

We also find it hard to understand how a Clinton administration could make healthcare cheaper than "free?"  Perhaps we should start paying people to take taxpayer subsidized healthcare?  If at first you don't succeed, throw more taxpayer money at it...

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TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Aug 11, 2016 8:22 AM

Collapsing upward (in premium prices), new normal

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If you want your Obamacare, you can keep your Obamacare....but not for long.

Never One Roach's picture

Pelosi and Reed have sure been low-prifle during Hitlery's campaign.

Why don't Pelosi and Reed step up to the DNC podium, so they can yell at all the Seniors again and call them "Nazis!" for asking them questions about Obamacare?

Hillary supported Obamacare just like she supported the Iraq War. Why doesn't she brag about this?


Looney's picture


0bama’s leaving the country with 0bamacare is similar to dumping a pile of shit on the table, before leaving the party. ;-)


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Personally I wonder if he doesn't try to nationalize it, or something similar, on his way out.

TeamDepends's picture

Remember folks, it is called the "Affordable Care Act" (guffaws). And of course he wants to nationalize it. Commies want to control everything, especially your health.

Richard Chesler's picture

Add one more to Obondinga's legacy of failure.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



Saving that $2500 a year......FEELS GOOD!!!

Shocker's picture

Pay if you have, pay if you don't.... great system.

Layoff List: http://www.dailyjobcuts.com


Manthong's picture

Every congressional pig schmuck that voted for the Pelosi/Reid Obamacare abomination should be hunted down and locked up forever… or worse.

They had some novel ideas in the Tower of London a half millenium ago.

..same goes for any congressional corporate shill that votes for T-TIP-TPP or any other “Free Trade” trade scam written by K Street.

When I become Emperor (like Obama), I will assure that every federal employee gets Obamacare and every tax payer gets the current version of legislative, executive and judicial branch health care.



MalteseFalcon's picture

Obama wants this to collapse and be replaced by single payer.

If he had ramped up the non-participation penalties faster, the numbers would have worked.

But he didn't.

Of course, Obamacare would have still sucked.

But not as bad as Romney-care.

booboo's picture

yea because getting fucked in the ass is way worse than getting fucked in the mouth

ZD1's picture

"Every congressional pig schmuck that voted for the Pelosi/Reid Obamacare abomination should be hunted down and locked up forever… or worse."


Go hunting for Congressional Democrats because they were the only ones who voted for it.


Not a single Republican in Congress voted for Obamacare.





MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber who was one of the main architects of Obamacare said that a "lack of transparency" and the "stupidity of the American voter" helped Democrats in Congress approve Obamacare.



dr kill's picture

This not exactly correct.  This shit would have died in Senate Committee except for Susan Collins. She and later  Bart Stupack held the bag while the rest of the GOP fluttered their hands.

918pigpen's picture

Remember! Remember!

The 5th of November!

John_Coltrane's picture

Well, the only people who voted for Obamacare were all demoncrats.  So, we know who to blame for this monstrosity.  Should be a huge issue in the fall elections further ensuring a Trump victory a Rep senate and house. 

cowdiddly's picture

Yes so let me get this straight. You come up with a scam to give all the uninsured Health Care coverage who could not afford it.

And now you fine them for not being able to afford it.

Sounds like a plan alright. LOL

Pure Evil's picture

Jesus Fucking Christ already.

I have "collapse" fatigue.

The market's supposed to collapse, ObuttHurtCare is supposed to collapse, the economy is supposed to collapse, the country is on the verge of collapse.


Please somebody finally kick the first domino and get the collapse party started.

Rancho Texican's picture

Millenials have figured out they can lie on their taxes and claim they have insurance when they really don't, and they don't have to pay the penalty. Meanwhile .gov uses these stats to tout "look at all the people insured" when they're really not.

Ghost of Porky's picture

Millenials have also figured out that if they get sick or injured the hospital still has to treat them even if they are uninsured so, like, whatever dude.

ZD1's picture

The illegal hordes have been playing that game for decades by going to emergency rooms whenever they are sick or injured--all for freeeeeeee!


Sí, se puede

John_Coltrane's picture

Lying on your income tax?  Quell Surpise.  We all know that if we cross our fingers anything we enter on the IRS form 1040 isn't a lie, just creative accounting.  They want you to believe they are so clever, but we know better.

Starve the Beast!

Weisshaupt's picture

Oh, Its started. Someone hit the slo-motion button....


Raymond K Hessel's picture

I like that, collapse fatigue. 

I think if you read Zerohedge long enough, you will catch collapse fatigue.

To combat collapse fatigue, remember to hydrate often and BTFD!!

rickv404's picture

We aren't in a state of collapse, but a state of slow-rot. But collapse can come in the meantime, as it did with Hoover and the '29 crash. Trump or Clinton change nothing for the better.

TerminalDebt's picture

you wont see gold prize collapse on here though

Countrybunkererd's picture

It's that DAMN PRINTER!  Can anyone sink the container from china that has the ink in it?  PLEASE!

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Sadly, eating cheaply produced industrial food is the majority of the problem.  People can't afford to eat real food and people can't afford to pay for its healthcare consequences either.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

This is a yuuuuuge part of the problem. Don't know why you're getting downvotes. If people afford to eat healthy real food again so many problems that exist today in USA would go away.

Try building and supplying green grocers in black communities if you really want to solve problems. That's a big if though, diabetes pays well.

ZD1's picture

"Try building and supplying green grocers in black communities if you really want to solve problems."


Dindu nuffins will loot and burn down green grocers while playing the knockout game on dumb white libtards who try to help them. 

Ex-Oligarch's picture

Try building and supplying green grocers in black communities if you really want to solve problems.

Ah, the perennially optimistic social engineer's solution to bad nutrition. Like clockwork, every year or so for decades running, the LA Times runs another story about how some idealistic crusader is opening his natural grocery in a crap neighborhood (usually with a handful of breaks and subsidies from one local bureaucracy or another) so that the poor deprived community will have healthy options to fast food and soda.  About six months later, like clockwork, comes the article bewailing the closing of the grocery because the poor deprived community persisted in its self-destructive dietary habits. 

For the past few years I've been spending a lot of time in a small town in upstate New York.  I didn't expect it, but the same pattern has been repeating here, with a minor twist: there is a long-established natural grocery store in town, a community farmer's market, and a local supermarket with an enormous produce section and every bulk item under the sun.  However, these businesses are the most expensive places to buy food in the region (especially the co-op, go figure).  Nevertheless, they thrive thanks to the patronage of our many well-heeled orthodox liberal academics and would-be social engineers. So every year or so the local papers feature the story about the idealistic crusader opening his store in a vacant building *spitting distance* from the local projects, aiming to provide *affordable* natural food options.  And about six months later, like clockwork, there's the story of its tragic demise.  

espirit's picture

That will be fixed if'n Hitlery gets to be TOTUS.

The EBT / SNAP recipients will have no moar cheese puffs, sweet sodas, fried chicken, or bacon.

Only healthy GMO Obama Foods (C).

Condition 1SQ's picture

So right you are.  I dated a doctor for a little while.  I asked her how much nutrition they taught in medical school.  Her answer was "We didn't take nutrition classes."

Can you fucking believe that?  Doctors don't study the fuel we ingest, and we expect them to act as our go-to healthcare advisors?

Sad that you're getting downvotes.  Probably fat fuck ZHers who haven't touched a weight, ran a mile, or eaten a natural thing in their lives.

new game's picture

dr.s have become prescription writers and re"fear" advocates to the next appointment and test to diagnois the problem years of meds and crap food created. lol. take control loosers. get a clue and connect the dots with a minimal amount of critical think and doubting authority. we give them authority, if we let it happen. sincerely i think i can diagnois my problems better than some nurse/dr combo blow job...

delacroix's picture

while I was waiting for my girlfriend to be released from the hospital I strolled by the smoking area. a dozen doctors and nurses puffing away. most were overweight.

Ex-Oligarch's picture

Buying fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and even meats is much less expensive than commercially prepared, packaged foods.  People are just too damn lazy to cook for themselves. 

Countrybunkererd's picture

People can't afford.  They just need to pay more taxes.  It will bring better jobs when they do, then they can afford it!

I sound like MDB, but he means it.

Refuse-Resist's picture

Year 1 Obama care -- 2x 'normal' health ins premium for 2 adults and 2 kids
Year 2 Obama care -- 3x 'normal' health ins premium for 2 adults and 2 kids.

Saving $1200 per month never felt so good.

It's a protection racket AFAIC.

I've never been uninsured since I began my working life some 25 years ago. But now that premiums exceed my mortgage and the deductible for the family is approximately 12000, I just said fuck it.

Trump has said he will repeal Obamacare. That's one promise I sincerely hope he keeps.

Make health insurance affordable again.

Bush Baby's picture

Why would anyone believe anything Hillary says?

If focus groups say they want something, Hillary is on the podium promoting it the next day.

Handful of Dust's picture

I am looking forward to Hillary speech today where she "outlines her economic plan."


My guess is she will side-step questions why Obama destroyed millions of jobs during his 8 year reign. Maybe she'll answer why she calls Obama's job-destroying TPP the "gold standard to trade deals."

She can also address the issue of ZIRP during her fellow democrats 8 years which obliterated hard workings' savings.

Do any reporters in the audience have the balz to ask her ANY tough, but important, questions?

SeattleBruce's picture

The big lie!  And they crammed it down our throats.  Grrrr...

TerminalDebt's picture

fear not, the government will be quick to fix that by raising the penalty

in4mayshun's picture

C'mon people! Collapse and Government takeover was always the plan. Obama and his minions couldn't proceed with full takeover until they completely broke the old system.

FireBrander's picture

Well, actually, the plan, as PAID FOR by the Health Industry lobbyists, was to maximize the extraction of cash from everyone before the scam reached terminal failure. If you accept that as the goal of the ACA, then the ACA, AS PAID FOR BY LOBBYISTS, was a HUUUGE success.


"11 million people bought health insurance through the exchanges for 2016 which was drastically below the Congressional Budget Office's initial projection of 21 million."

Please at least try to be fucking honest....the 10 million that "didn't sign up" ended up on Medicaid. California ALONE added 2.3 million people to Medicaid.

Go to healthcare.gov

Enter your income, as a family of 4, at $30k a year.

You WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to sign up/buy insurance through the exchanges.

You WILL be directed to Medicaid.

MaxMax's picture

Not only that, but once you enter your income information, you are not allowed to go back and change it later.  If your income is too low, they will *force* you to go to Medicaid which means goodbye to your current doctors.  You will end up in some clinic in a bad part of town.  I know a gal who has decent savings but very little income.  She knows and likes her current doctors and pays for her insurance from savings.  When she tried to check out Obamacare, she would have been forced to Medicaid losing her relationships with her current doctors.  It would have been nice if she could have gotten some discounted normal plan, but that wasn't the case.

FireBrander's picture

Over the last 15 years, we've been forced to abandon oour "current doctors" many times due to switching PRIVATE insurance companies AND those Private companies changing the doctors in their networks...your freind needs to learn to deal with change...

Bollixed's picture

Medicaid has a clawback feature that most aren't aware of. Perhaps if they spent some of those 'advertising dollars' educating the public about it they would see less people on Medicaid. I have a friend who was using Medicaid to cover their SSDI supplemental insurance who was unaware the $104 a month Medicaid was paying for the supplemental insurance kicked in that clawback feature. So I had them talk with their SSDI handler and had the handler explain how that works. They now pay the $104 out of pocket because they are all the wiser.

Umh's picture

That is why so many people do not have a decent relationship with their doctor.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

If one reads through The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the author makes it pretty clear that war has been declared on the American public.  The statement, "was to maximize the extraction of cash from everyone" is pretty much spot on.