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Aetna Abandons Obamacare Totally: See You In September?

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Published : May 11th, 2017
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Category : Opinions and Analysis

Bye bye, so long farewell, Aetna fully exits Obamacare exchanges with pull-out in two states

Health insurer Aetna Inc said on Wednesday it will exit the 2018 Obamacare individual insurance market in Delaware and Nebraska – the two remaining states where it offered the plans.

Aetna had already said it would exit the individual commercial market in Virginia and Iowa, after pulling out of several other states last year.

Aetna has now “completely exited the exchanges,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Insurers Humana Inc and UnitedHealth Group Inc have also pulled out of most of the government-subsidized individual health insurance market.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives last week voted to undo the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, the signature domestic achievement of former President Barack Obama.

But even if the Republicans’ bill – known as the American Health Care Act – is passed by the Senate it would not solve a critical outstanding issue for insurers looking at 2018: Will the government continue to fund the cost-sharing subsidies that help individuals pay for care?

Health insurers have said they cannot plan amid the uncertainty. In addition, the balance of sick and healthy customers has been worse than expected, and premium rates on the individual insurance market went up 25 percent this year.

Republican Madness

I fail to understand House speaker Paul Ryan and president Trump attempting to fix Obamacare before it blows up. The proper strategy would have been to wait for Obamacare to implode on its own merits.

A complete implosion cannot take more than another year or so, and at that time Democrats would have been begging the Trump administration to “do something”.

See You In September?

I am quite certain we will not see Aetna in September but by September we may have Senate revisions to the House Obamacare replacement.

I offer this musical tribute.


On a more serious note, on May 4 I wrote Republican Sponsored “Trumpcare” Passes House: Hooray?

Let’s assume that months from now (and that’s about how long it will take) some sort of compromise bill passes the Senate. Let’s also assume the House votes to go along.

Then there will be winners and losers, but far more losers than winners. The losers will be upset. Even those unaffected may be upset if they blame the bill for increasing their costs.

For What?

This folly could cost the Republicans their majority in the 2018 midterm election.

For what? The bill nibbles around the edges and provides no incentives to lower costs.

This is a disaster on-deck with virtually no chance of an upside. Republicans now own healthcare (Trumpcare) whether a compromise bill passes or not.


Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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Mish 13 abonnés
Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. He writes a global economics blog which has commentary 5-7 times a week. He also writes for the Daily Reckoning, Whiskey & Gunpowder, and has over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Visit
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Republicans could have been heroes, but their too damn stupid. They are just sticking to their traditional approach: incompetence and cutbacks.

Bold solution all ends of the political spectrum could have embraced:

1) Extend Medicare down to age 55. That would solve the biggest problem of providing affordable insurance to the 55-64 age group. Pay for it by shutting down Medicare Advantage plans and instead establishing an asset and income based Medicare deductible beyond which Medicare pays 100%. Seniors would be thrilled. No more premiums for Medicare supplement. No more hassling with networks and difficult to audit Medicare Advantage co-pays. A simple affordable deductible based upon their ability to pay and save for it and then after that no paperwork, no hassles.

2) Just go ahead and allocate the federal tax funds to extend medicaid in all 50 states. Just print the damn money if necessary.

3) Allow each state to establish a public option for everyone else that best fits their state. Some states could copy Singapore, others could copy Vermont, other's Switzerland, and even others, Taiwan...whatever works best for them. Turn this into a state issue. This would bring more interest in state government and those states that do nothing and just let large numbers go un-insured will soon find that untenable and be forced to do the real political work necessary to establish and efficient system for their state.
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