UnitedHealth abandoning Obamacare

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Finding out what’s in it: Because of significant loses due to Obamacare, the nation’s largest health insurance company, UnitedHealth, will cut participation in all but a handful of public health exchanges next year

CEO Stephen Hemsley said Tuesday that the company expects losses from its exchange business to total more than $1 billion for this year and last. He added that the company cannot continue to broadly serve the market created by the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion due partly to the higher risk that comes with its customers. The state-based exchanges are a key element behind the Affordable Care Act’s push to expand insurance coverage. But insurers have struggled with higher than expected claims from that business.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. said it now expects to lose $650 million this year on its exchange business, up from its previous projection for $525 million. The insurer lost $475 million in 2015, a spokesman said. UnitedHealth has already decided to pull out of Arkansas, Georgia and Michigan in 2017, and Hemsley told analysts during a Tuesday morning conference call that his company will not carry financial exposure from the exchanges into 2017.

And why have they been losing so much money? It seems that only sick people are signing up, resulting in expensive claims that the insurance companies cannot afford to pay because they have too-few healthy customers buying their insurance. And why do they have too few healthy customers? They can’t avoid the higher prices for insurance that Obamacare has forced upon them.

This monstrous law, which the American public never wanted, should never have been passed. The sooner it can be repealed, the better for everyone.


  • Des

    The American people never wanted it? They voted for a president whi said he was going to implement health reform and for a Congress that supported it. Much as you wish it was otherwise the American people voted for it.

  • Edward

    Des wrote: “Much as you wish it was otherwise the American people voted for it.”

    Actually, you had it right the first time. The American people voted for the president, not for the fiasco. Not a single American had read the bill before they elected the president the first time, so they were voting not for the bill but for general policy (i.e. it would be racist not to vote for and to reelect the first black president, and we wouldn’t want to be thought of as racist).

    Do you actually believe that the American people voted to have health insurance premiums skyrocket, to have deductibles become higher than the inexpensive “catastrophic plans” that Obama declared inadequate (despite the American people voting otherwise with their insurance dollar), to have co-pays become onerous monstrosities, and to have the plans and doctors that they liked become unavailable?

    I do not, and neither does Obama, because it was *HE* who insisted in no uncertain terms that our premiums would decrease dramatically, that we could keep our doctors and insurance plans if we liked them (period), and that healthcare would be affordable to all.

    Do you really think that Americans were voting to have their religions violated and their work-hours reduced? Do you really think that Americans voted to destroy the very insurance companies that have kept them healthy all these decades or to have them drop out of important markets because they cannot afford to stay in?

    Of course, we should have known that Obama was lying (and many of us did), because his lips were moving.

    As for voting for a Congress that supported it, please notice that the Democrats, who were the only ones supporting it, have lost both houses of Congress. That does not sound like Americans voted for those who supported Obamacare.

  • Wayne

    Well stated.

  • mkent

    “Much as you wish it was otherwise the American people voted for it.”

    As much as you may wish otherwise, when ObamaCare is actually on the ballot, it loses badly. It was on the ballot here, and my home state voted against it by a 2-1 margin. Twice.

    I doubt it’s any more popular in other states.

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