Obamacare is becoming more and more like the Vietnam and Iraq wars; more and more evidence that the policy is a complete failure keeps piling up, yet its supporters and apologists are more vocal than ever.
Even though the media actively tries to keep the fantasy that Obamacare is a huge success alive, many news stories tell a very different story. Some examples of Obamacare’s failure from recent news coverage include:
- America’s largest health insurer United Health Group (NYSE: UNH) is pulling out of state Obamacare exchanges. The latest exit is in Iowa; where 9,028 people will lose their health insurance coverage next year, according to The Gazette.
- United is leaving the exchange because it is unprofitable. If United Health; a company with $165.88 billion in revenue cannot make money in Obamacare, one has to wonder if it is viable.
- Many people insured under Obamacare cannot afford healthcare. When a charity called Your Best Pathway to Health offered free medical and dental services at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 28, thousands of people lined up. CBS News reported that a large percentage of those queuing up had health insurance, but could not afford the copays.
- An example was Jessie Agbunat who had been putting off a simple surgery to remove a growth on her shoulder for five years. Agbunat said she could not afford the high-deductibles and co-pays included in her state subsidized health insurance plan – in other words Obamacare.
- “I expected to see a lot more homeless people and people with no insurance at all, and to find out that the majority had insurance but couldn’t afford their co-payment or deductible, that was surprising,” the founder of Your Best Pathway to Health; Dr. Christ Lewis, told CBS.
- Another patient at the clinic; Mandy Negrete, is facing $18,000 in medical bills from the birth of her son that her health insurance did not cover. She thought it would be covered but it was not.
- “I don’t want to go to the hospital. I’m really apprehensive about going anywhere unless it’s a dire emergency,” Negrete said.
- Rural hospitals across the nation are shutting down their maternity wards, National Public Radio reported. The wards are closing because they are simply too expensive to operate. There is also a shortage of obstetricians and obstetrics nurses that is making it hard to staff maternity wards. Some women now have to travel hundreds of miles to deliver a baby.
- Small towns are losing their medical care. Becker’s Hospital CFO reported that 60 rural hospitals in 20 states have closed since 2010.
- Another 673 rural hospitals are in danger of closing a report by iVantage Health Analytics found.
- The closing of those hospitals would eliminate 99,000 jobs, many of them in impoverished rural areas.
- Around 68% of the vulnerable hospitals are critical care facilities. That means they are the only medical facility in a radius of 35 miles.
- Even some urban hospitals are shutting down. Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas shut down on November 20, 2015, because it could not meet its payroll, Becker’s Hospital CFO reported. North Philadelphia Health system closed St. Joseph’s Hospital in March, eliminating 146 beds and 675 jobs.
- Some hospitals are shutting down without warning. Sayre Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma closed without any notice on February 2, The Oklahoman reported. That will leave the city of Sayre which has a population of 4,400 people without a hospital. The hospital closed because its management could not cover a $64,000 monthly operating loss created by a downturn in the local economy. To add insult to injury, the closing will leave a hospital financed with a $14 million bond issue paid for by a 1¢ local sales tax sitting empty.
- Medicaid is running out of money. The state of New Mexico is facing a $417 million Medicaid shortfall over the next 16 months, The Albuquerque Journal reported. This casts doubt on the concept of Medicaid expansion, which Democrats and their apologists are touting as Obamacare’s biggest success.
- The number of people on Medicaid is skyrocketing. Around 850,000 people are participating in Medicaid in New Mexico; a state with a population of 2.086 million, The Journal
- The reason for this is obvious; Medicaid which charges no premium, offers low copays and covers most medical and prescription expenses is a far better deal than the plans offered through the Obamacare exchanges. In some states, a sick person is better off quitting his job and going on Medicaid than taking an Obamacare policy.
- If the New Mexico numbers are anything to go buy, state Medicaid programs will soon run out of money and require a federal bailout.
The news stories show that Obamacare is a failure. It is time for Democrats to abandon this fantasy and look to real solutions like single-payer healthcare. If they do not voters will seek alternatives; such as US Senator and single-payer proponent Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), and turn to ballot initiatives such as Colorado’s Amendment 69 – which would create a single-payer healthcare system.
One has to wonder if Democratic apologists for Obamacare will end up as unpopular; and as unelectable, as pro-war politicians like George W. Bush and his brother Jeb. If they do not face up to the failure of their policy it will happen.