*VIDEO* Ed’s Twitter Video Shorts – Part 2 (Featuring Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton)



Nation’s Largest Health Insurer Will No Longer Participate In Several Obamacare Exchanges Following $1B In Losses

Obamacare Meltdown: Health Insurers Suffer Massive Losses – WorldNetDaily


The nation’s largest health insurer, UnitedHealth, announced Tuesday it has lost at least $1 billion under Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, and it can no longer afford to participate in a number of states, including Arkansas, Georgia and Michigan.

UnitedHealth is just one of the many health-insurance companies sounding the alarm that they will have to drastically hike premiums in the coming year or consider exiting the individual health-care marketplace in the wake of massive losses sustained over the first couple of years under the rules of President Obama’s signature health-care law.

A report in the Hill newspaper quotes Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini as well as multiple policy experts concluding the current track is unsustainable for the private sector insurance. Furthermore, a report from McKinsey & Company shows insurers lost money in the individual market in 41 of 50 states in 2014.

Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner told WND and Radio America she hears the very same thing from health insurance providers.

“I have talked with insurance company CEOs. I’ve talked with people in professional associations,” Turner said. “They’re very worried because they were virtually assured by the Obama administration that the market would have stabilized by now.”

She said this is not only a distress call to policy makers but a warning to consumers that much higher premiums are on the horizon.

“These reports and these announcements and these news stories are really warnings from the insurance industry, ‘Get ready because our premiums are going to have to be much higher if we’re going to continue to participate in the market. And if you tell us that you’re not going to approve those premium increases, we will drop out,’” Turner said.

Turner said insurance companies bought the Obama promise “that there would be enough young, healthy people in the markets to be able to offset the sicker, older people.” But something happened on the way to huge profits guaranteed through the individual mandate.

“The escape hatches [the health-care law] created, the weakness of the individual mandate has meant that they wind up with many more people who are sicker and using many more health care services than anticipated, and the premiums were not set to adjust to that,” Turner explained.

She said the bad financial ideas underpinning the law are being exposed.

“They also thought they were going to get this other money through a lot of risk corridor reinsurance payments as well as the tax credits that people get to purchase premiums,” she said. “So they thought all of those were going to make this a stable market. It’s only a stable market in the sense that the government is propping it up artificially with all these other funds and it’s not enough.”

“The escape hatches [the health-care law] created, the weakness of the individual mandate has meant that they wind up with many more people who are sicker and using many more health care services than anticipated, and the premiums were not set to adjust to that,” Turner explained.

She said the bad financial ideas underpinning the law are being exposed.

“They also thought they were going to get this other money through a lot of risk corridor reinsurance payments as well as the tax credits that people get to purchase premiums,” she said. “So they thought all of those were going to make this a stable market. It’s only a stable market in the sense that the government is propping it up artificially with all these other funds and it’s not enough.”

Turner said insurance companies are also getting crushed by people gaming the system. She said people sign up for coverage, get a lot of expensive health care right away and then cancel their coverage, only to sign up at the same government-guaranteed rate in the next open enrollment period.

She said this whole sea of red ink exposes the fundamental flaws with the law.

“It’s not a sustainable market,” Turner said. “You cannot have government dictating how a market works. Only the market can do that and we’re seeing the failure of government-controlled health care.”

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The insurance industry is likely to elicit few tears from opponents of the Obama health-care law as conservative activists implored companies not to get on board the Obama bandwagon. The industry didn’t listen, but Turner said watching them leave the marketplace is not an option, either.

“We need the private health insurance companies to continue to participate and to offer insurance if we are going to have a private market,” she said. “You don’t want them to fail.”

Turner is hopeful that the issue will get a lot of attention in the 2016 election season. She is confident that despite the rhetoric of some Democratic Party candidates, the American people do not want government-run health care.

“The support for single payer among the American people is as low now as it has ever been in decades,” said Turner, who advocates health competition in the private sector regulated by the states.



11 Of 23 Obamacare Co-Ops Have Collapsed, Leaving Half A Million More Americans Without Health Insurance

Obamacare Doomsday? ‘Collapses’ Drop Half-Million Americans – WorldNetDaily


About half of Obamacare’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, have imploded, leaving nearly half-a-million Americans looking for new health coverage.

And instead of addressing the problem, the Obama administration is pretending it doesn’t exist.

That’s the assessment of Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee who recently wrote about the spate of failures in the Wall Street Journal.

“When it passed Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act offered substantial financial support to create nonprofit health-insurance plans. Today 11 of the 23 such regional Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans have failed – seven since the beginning of October,” Smith wrote.

“They’ve collapsed despite federal startup loans totaling more than $1.1 billion. These loans will likely never be fully repaid, while insurers and consumers will be on the hook for any unpaid claims left behind by failed insurers,” he added.

The congressman estimates 400,00-500,000 Americans lost their coverage in those 11 failed co-ops.

In an interview with Radio America, Smith says the co-ops were doomed from the start.

“I think they were improperly structured. They were allowed to charge too low a premium, not reflecting the actual costs. They thought the original subsidies – or loans if you will, but let’s face it, they’re subsidies, especially since they’re so unlikely to be repaid. That wasn’t enough,” said Smith, who is fuming more as he learns how these collapses transpired.

“The more I am learning about this entire situation, the more offensive it is, and this is just one part of Obamacare,” Smith said.

The congressman said what galls him most is that the government forced many people out of coverage they liked and then left those same people out in the cold.

“The thing that bothers me the most is when a good, upstanding citizen is doing everything they’re supposed to do to be a responsible individual,” Smith said. “Yet they are faced with canceled coverage, or they’re faced with a penalty for taking care of themselves.”

Adding to Smith’s frustrations is what he believes is utter indifference to the problem from the Obama administration.

“We had a hearing earlier this week, and the chief of staff from [the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services] was our witness,” Smith said. “[Dr. Mandy Cohen] sent the message that everything is just fine in the Obamacare co-op arena.”

He said it’s quite obvious that co-ops are not “just fine.”

“It’s not a win,” Smith said. “Nearly half of the co-ops have collapsed and that’s from New York to Nevada. Ours, with Nebraska and Iowa together, we were the first to collapse a year ago. Now we see them collapsing at a much quicker pace.”

How can the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, say all is well when almost half the co-ops have failed?

“In a very dismissive manner, I have to say, and it’s disappointing,” Smith said. “I started asking questions almost a year ago and HHS is not offering any answers.”

Not only is the government doing little to help, in some circumstances it is actually pushing co-ops to their deaths.

“The administrators of the Nebraska-Iowa plan saw a larger number of people sign up for their plan than they originally anticipated,” Smith said. “So they requested permission from HHS to suspend enrollment, to basically cap that at a number they figured was more manageable. They were prohibited by HHS from capping the number of enrollees.”

The congressman said that hastened the demise of the Nebraska-Iowa co-op. He said HHS did give permission for the Tennessee co-op to cap enrollment, but it collapsed anyway.

In the meantime, Smith is sponsoring legislation that would protect those who lost coverage with the failure of the co-ops from being fined by the IRS for not having coverage as mandated by federal law.

He believes all of Obamacare will eventually crater, but he hopes too many people aren’t hurt in the process.

“Ultimately, I think it collapses under its own weight,” he said. “I just want to do everything I can to minimize the damage in the ensuing time. That’s what weighs heavy on my mind is that the heavy hand of the federal government is actually hurting the very people Barack Obama was saying he was wanting to help.”



Leftist Incompetence Update: Yet Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Utter Failure

Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Failure – Daily Caller


Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday that Louisiana’s Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015.

It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.

From the beginning, the Louisiana co-op was fraught with high-paid consultants who were not even from Louisiana, but Georgia. It also suffered from an apparent conflict of interest. George Cromer, its CEO, simultaneously served the Louisiana House of Representatives as chairman of that legislative body’s insurance committee.

Roughly 18 months into its existence, in September 2012, the Louisiana co-op received $66 million from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that the co-op had burned through half of its cash and suffered a net operating loss of $23 million.

The co-op had only enrolled 17,000 paid subscribers out of a total state population of 4.6 million, according to state census data.

AM Best, the insurance rating company, reported in the third quarter of 2014 that the Louisiana co-op’s indebtedness was 198 percent, among the worst performing Obamacare nonprofits in the nation.

“The onerous burdens of Obamacare have shocked health insurance markets and caused instability in pricing and predictability, and as a result, we’ve seen premiums spike upward,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon wrote in a press statement July 24 when he announced closure plans for the co-op.

“Start-ups in insurance, especially health insurance, are always a tough row to hoe. Obamacare has made that even more difficult,” the commissioner noted in a press release.

The LDI’s Office of Financial Solvency will be examining the financial issues that led to its decision to close, and the commissioner has said that the department is “on-site at the co-op.”

The Louisiana Health co-op began with controversy over Terry Shilling, its first CEO. Shilling arranged a lavish contract with his own Atlanta-based consulting firm, Beam Partners, LLC, an arrangement approved by federal Obamacare CMS officials.

Federal officials also approved Shilling as original founder and “interim CEO” for the co-op, even though in 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned him for insider trading as a health executive. Shilling’s consulting firm received more than $3 million from the co-op in 2013 for “health plan development,” according to its IRS Form 990 filing.

Louisiana insurance documents obtained by the Washington Examiner in August 2013 showed that Beam would receive a separate $4 million contract from the start-up co-op. On top of the contract, the Atlanta firm would receive a 20 percent “performance fee,” according to the documents. Finally, Beam additionally reaped a “benefit payment services” that began at $66,667 per month in 2013, culminating in $72,917 in 2016, according to Louisiana co-op insurance filing documents.

Separate from the preferential contract with Shilling, the co-op represented a potential political conflict of interest. After Shilling’s relationship with the co-op went public, the Atlanta businessman stepped down as interim CEO, to be replaced by Louisiana Rep. George Cromer.

Cromer, a Republican, also was the chairman of the Louisiana House committee on health insurance. He did not step down from the position after assuming the co-op post.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Cromer’s office, but has yet to receive a response.

The Louisiana co-op is not the first to fold.

In February, the Iowa Insurance Department assumed receivership and closed the doors of Co-Opportunity Health, an Obamacare co-op that served more than 100,000 customers in Iowa and Nebraska. Co-Opportunity had a loss ratio of 140, which meant that for every dollar it received in premiums, it had to pay out $1.40 in benefits.

The first failure occurred in 2013, when the Vermont Insurance Commissioner refused to grant a license to a new Obamacare health co-op.

The Commissioner refused to license the co-op because the president had steered as much as $500,000 of the co-op’s money to his own firm. CMS had approved the loan to the Vermont co-op despite the conflict of interest.

She also said the co-op’s math was inadequate and failed to meet the state’s financial standards.



Department Of Health And Human Services Shells Out $280M To House Illegal Alien Children

HHS Paid One Org Over $280 Million To House Unaccompanied Illegal Alien Children This Year – Weasel Zippers


Your tax dollars hard at work!

Via Capitol City Project:

The Department of Health and Human Services dished out over $182 million to one organization in order to house unaccompanied illegal alien children over the span of four months, according to documents released on December 3. The taxpayer funds ended up covering the likes of free laptops, big screen TVs, and pregnancy tests. In 2014 alone, the group was awarded well over $280 million in federal grant money and surpasses $460 million when factoring in 2013. This is just one group in a sprawling network of those sheltering illegal alien children.

The December 3 documents, obtained by Judicial Watch, show BCFS, formerly known as Baptist Children and Family Services, was paid $182,129,786 in order to provide “basic shelter care” for 2,400 “unaccompanied alien children” (UAC) during a four month span.The budget included charges of $104,215,608 for the 1,200 UAC’s at a Fort Sill, Oklahoma center and another $77,914,178 for the 1,200 UACs at the Lackland Air Force Base shelter located in San Antonio, Texas. From June 12 to October 18, these figures equate to $86,846.34 for every illegal alien child housed at Ft. Sill and $64,928 per illegal alien child from May 18 to September 18 at the Lackland Air Force Base location. On top of this, $2,648,800 was given as compensation to members of the BCFS “Incident Management Team” – or $88,293 per person.

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Obamacare Alert: Health Premiums Skyrocket By As Much As 78 Percent

Obamacare Sends Health Premiums Skyrocketing By As Much As 78 Percent – Washinton Times


The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make health care more affordable, but a newly released study of insurance policies before and after Obamacare shows that average premiums have skyrocketed, for some groups by as much as 78 percent.

Average insurance premiums in the sought-after 23-year-old demographic rose most dramatically, with men in that age group seeing an average 78.2 percent price increase before factoring in government subsidies, and women having their premiums rise 44.9 percent, according to a report by HealthPocket scheduled for release Wednesday.

The study, which was shared Tuesday with The Washington Times, examined average health insurance premiums before the implementation of Obamacare in 2013 and then afterward in 2014. The research focused on people of three ages – 23, 30 and 63 – using data for nonsmoking men and women with no spouses or children.

The premium increases for 30-year-olds were almost as high as for 23-year-olds – 73.4 percent for men and 35.1 percent for women – said the study, titled “Without Subsidies Women & Men, Old & Young Average Higher Monthly Premiums with Obamacare.”

“It’s very eye-opening in terms of the transformation occurring within the individual health insurance market,” said Kev Coleman, head of research and data at HealthPocket, a nonpartisan, independently managed subsidiary of Health Insurance Innovations in Sunnyvale, California.

“I was surprised in general to see the differences in terms of the average premiums in the pre-reform and post-reform markets,” Mr. Coleman said. “It was a higher amount than I had anticipated.”

The eye-popping increases among younger insurance buyers could be a problem for Obamacare’s long-term solvency given that young people are needed to offset the higher costs associated with older policyholders.

“Obviously they’re very important, and as much as they’re healthier, they tend to use health care less, so you want to try and have as many of those people enrolled as possible. And the cost for them went up very [steeply],” Mr. Coleman said.

The price increases for 63-year-olds were less dramatic: a 37.5 percent increase on average for women and 22.7 percent for men.

The study doesn’t include the federal premium subsidies offered to those earning between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty limit, but Mr. Coleman points out that not everyone in that bracket qualifies because their premiums must exceed a certain percentage of their income.

“So you still have this issue of health insurance rising for that very young group and, depending on where they are with respect to income and premium, they may not qualify for a subsidy,” Mr. Coleman said. “That’s what we like to refer to as a subsidy gap.”

The report also notes that somebody pays for the subsidy, even if it’s not the policyholder.

“Another important consideration in the discussion of subsidized premiums is that the subsidized portion of the premium still must be paid by the government through the money it collects from the nation,” says the study. “In other words, the subsidized costs of health insurance do not disappear but instead change payers.”

A spokeswoman with the Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment because she had not yet seen the report.

The reasons for the premium increases start with the ACA’s prohibition on rejecting applicants with pre-existing conditions, which means that insurance companies must account for the additional costs of covering chronically ill or disabled people.

Another cost driver is the heightened benefit mandate. The ACA requires insurance policies to include 10 “essential health benefits,” including pediatric dental and vision care, maternity care and newborn care, even for policyholders with no children or whose children are adults.

“If you’re expanding the services you’re covering, and you’re increasing the number of less healthy people in your risk pools, that’s going to increase costs,” Mr. Coleman said. “Attendant to that would be an increase in premiums to be able to appropriately cover those costs.”

He also noted that the study doesn’t weigh policies based on enrollment, meaning that it includes the costs of insurance plans that may have few enrollees.

The report examines premium costs from the two largest metropolitan areas of each state, using data from public insurance records obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services.



Thanks Barack… 73,000 Marylanders To Lose Current Health Plans Due To Obamacare

About 73,000 Marylanders To Lose Current Health Plans – Capital Gazette

About 73,000 Marylanders will lose their health coverage on or after Jan. 1 due to regulations mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.


The Maryland Insurance Administration was notified by nine insurance carriers that they will discontinue some of their health plans starting in the new year, said Joseph A. Sviatko, a spokesman for the agency.

The ACA, passed in 2010, does not require people with health plans purchased before March 23, 2010, to buy new coverage, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Those plans are grandfathered into the new law.

But plans that were changed after March 2010 – including changes to deductibles, co-pay or benefits – must meet new federal requirements.

The ACA mandates all health insurance premiums must cover 10 essential health benefits, including hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity and newborn care.

Approximately 73,000 nongrandfathered plans in Maryland will be discontinued, Sviatko said.

“Those plans are being replaced with stronger coverage that provides more consumer protection, such as guaranteed coverage, mental health parity, and prescription drug coverage,” Sviatko said in an email.

Health care plans that have remained unchanged since March 23, 2010, can be renewed, he said.

CareFirst BlueCross Blue-Shield, which handles about 70 percent of Maryland’s individual insurance market, said close to 76,000 of its customers could lose their current health plans in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., by January.

A CareFirst spokesman said about 60,000 of those cancellations would take place in Maryland.

CareFirst has close to 120,000 individual members in the state.

Sviatko did not know how many health care plans would be discontinued in Anne Arundel County. Most people should receive 90 days notice before their health coverage is discontinued, he said.

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