The latest sign that the Affordable Care Act "isn't working" came this week when UnitedHealth announced that it had lost $720-MILLION on plans sold in the Federal and state exchanges. The numbers justified UnitedHealth's decision to scale back the plans it was offering in the exchanges for 2016--which drew considerable criticism late last year. UnitedHealth may drop out of the exchanges altogether in 2017 if the financial trend continues.
Not surprisingly, UnitedHealth found that people would wait until they were sick and needed coverage before enrolling in a plan--and then after treatment was covered by the insurer, they would "forget" to continue the coverage by paying their premiums. The inability to charge more for those with higher medical costs and the ban on denying coverage to those with expensive pre-existing conditions just exacerbates the situation.
Those opposed to the ACA were quick to point to UnitedHealth's losses as "proof" that the program is a failure that will bankrupt the health insurance industry--and that is why it must be "repealed and replaced". But as I continue to say, the Affordable Care Act is actually working exactly as it was designed to--as a planned failure.
Knowing that the idea of "Medicare For All" would have no hope of passing in 2009--President Obama and majority Democrats in Congress (actually consultants, since nobody in Washington actually read the Affordable Care Act except then-Senator Russ Feingold) devised a plan that would appear to be addressing the increasing costs of medicine and health insurance. But the ACA was actually a skillfully-designed piece of malware meant to destroy the health industry from the inside--until private insurers were left in ruins, costs continued to escalate, and the American people were left with no other option than to demand "Medicare for all"!
And right on cue, here comes the Pied Piper of Single-Payer health care--Bernie Sanders--to play upon the frustration and fear of the populace by pointing out the "failures" of the Affordable Care Act and the security that would come from an even-bigger Government program to "fix it".
The only thing missing from this scene is Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars and his creepy voice "It is all as I have foreseen".