While the so-called Affordable Care Act, commonly know as Obamacare, continues to prove an epic failure, one of the chief architects of the disaster, disgraced former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, has the audacity to continue to lecture on how to fix it. Kitzhaber, along with former Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes, are under federal investigation for influence-peddling charges related to their handling of the Cover Oregon Obamacare exchange, was recently announced as a keynote speaker for the 2016 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference. Kitzhaber is expected to issue a call for more government involvement to remedy the problems with the Affordable Care Act.
Obamacare continues to be an unmitigated disaster, especially at the level of the state-based health care exchanges, which were intended to facilitate consumers at the state level purchasing health insurance coverage under the health care reform signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. Just recently, the huge health insurers UnitedHealth, Humana, and Aetna withdrew from offering plans in several state exchanges. This action left five states having only one provider available on their exchanges. Next year, 17 percent of Americans will have no choice of health insurance providers on their state-based exchanges
“I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse,” quoted Julie Mix McPeak, Commissioner of the Tenn. Dept. of Commerce and Insurance, as stating.
At this time, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST), which has lost $500 million while participating in the Obamacare exchange, is the only insurance providers to sell plans to all over Tennessee via the exchange. It is possible that Cigna and Humana will discontinue selling their plans via the Tennessee exchange. Premiums are also increasing for the insurance plans that will continue to be offered on the exchange. In Minnesota, BCBS is leaving the exchange in that state after also losing about $500 million.
We agree with the assessment of the ACA marketplace in Tennessee. We appreciate the support of our request to close the gap between our rates and medical expenses for ACA marketplace plans. Beyond rates as we’ve discussed with the (TDCI) we continue to have concerns about uncertainty with the ACA at the federal level,” Roy Vaughn, chief communications officer of BCBST, said to The Tennessean. “Due to these concerns we are keeping all of our options open at this point about participating in the 2017 marketplace. We anticipate making a final decision in mid-September.”
As premiums rise and more insurance providers leave the exchanges, it will become more clear that Obamacare is inevitably heading toward a “death spiral” on its way to complete failure. As that trend continues, the architects of this failure, including Kitzhaber, will keep calling for more government involvement to try to salvage the not-so-Affordable Care Act.
Kitzhaber was going to show the nation how to reform health care and do it right. A former emergency room physician-turned-politician and elected governor of Oregon, Kitzhaber knew it all and would show the world how to implement Obamacare in his state. It ended up a disaster and a disgrace, as Kitzhaber put his chief political advisor in charge of shutting down his state’s Cover Oregon exchange. Then to make matters worse, he steered the state in the direction of suing IT provider Oracle, to cover for the state’s failure to successfully run the exchange. But remember, the expert Kitzhaber was going to show us all how it’s done.
Soon after giving up on Cover Oregon and coming under investigation for influence-peddling, Kitzhaber resigned his office in shame, having just begun his second term as governor a few months before. In the end, more than $300 million in federal taxpayer money was gone and the state’s Obamacare exchange was a complete failure. Under the watch of the expert John Kitzhaber, who vowed to lead by example, not a single Oregon citizen ever successfully signed up for health insurance under Cover Oregon.
And now Kitzhaber is going to speak at that health care reform conference next month, as one of the architects of failed state run health care, to tell us how to fix it. Objective empirical evidence of the failure of big government will never get in the way of liberals like Kitzhaber continuing to promote their agenda.
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