Health Insurance giant Aetna said Wednesday that it will not be participating in any Obamacare exchanges in 2018.
“Our individual Commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016, and are projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017 despite a significant reduction in membership,” T.J. Crawford, Aetna spokesman, said in an email.
The reason for the losses, he said, came from structural issues within the exchanges “that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits, and subsequent risk pool deterioration.” He did not cite uncertainty over the future of Obamacare, as the company had done when it announced last week that it would be exiting the exchange in Virginia.
Get it? It’s not because the future is uncertain due to President Trump, as Democrats want to claim. It’s because Obamacare doesn’t work.
Okay, let’s be honest about what Barack Obama is doing here, since he won’t be. Even at an event at which he accepted the “Profiles in Courage” award, he lacks the courage to say what he truly means.
First of all, he started out his acceptance speech Sunday night at The John F. Kennedy Library in Boston with an obvious ruse.
“I am humbled by this evening and to be honored by a family that has given this country so much.”
You and I know that Barack Obama is never humbled by anything. He’s The Barack Obama, for goodness sake.
But on to far worse stuff. Obama said:
It’s worth remembering this, the times in which President Kennedy led us, because for many Americans I know that this feels like an uncertain and even perilous time. The forces of globalization and technology have upended many of our established assumptions about the economy. It provided a great opportunity and also a great inequality and uncertainty for far too many.
Okay, let’s stop. Now who does that sound like to you? These are the people who elected Trump president, of course.
Our politics remains filled with division and discord, and everywhere we see the risk of falling into the refuge of tribe and clan and anger at those who don’t look like us or have the same surnames or pray the way we do. And at such moments, courage is necessary. At such moments, we need courage to stand up to hate not just in others but in ourselves.
Get it? You Trump supporters are filled with hate and racism — the latter being what he means by “tribe and clan” anger. You poor, misguided Trump voters, you need to have the courage to resist the temptation to be racist.
That’s all this shallow man is saying.
Some of the headlines about the speech have noted that Obama, such a presidential type, didn’t mention Trump. But of course, all of this is all about Trump.
Obama, during his presidency, made a cottage industry of insinuating evil motives on the part of those who merely disagree with him, while pretending he was just contrasting reason — i.e., his subjective views — with irrationality, partisanship, and hatred.
Here’s some more of it, part of his criticism of last week’s House passage of an Obamacare “repeal” bill:
I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. But it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm, those who often have no access to the corridors of power. I hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient but doing what they believe deep in their hearts is right.
Actually, in their hearts, conservatives do, in fact, believe the are doing what is right, despite Obama’s disingenuous attempt to be helpful. What they know is that Obamacare has raised premiums on average Americans, limited options for good care, and will end up with rationing of services, because you only have so many doctors and so much taxpayer money to subsidize care.
And, while Jimmy Kimmel will be able to afford luxury care for his family from doctors who no longer take insurance, the rest of us will be stuck with higher expenses, worsening care as health providers are squeezed, disease, and death, all thanks to Obama, and Obamacare promoters like Jimmy Kimmel.
Michelle, please give him a piece of your mind! I mean, what happened to all that “When they go low, we go high” crap?
The House is led by a man, Speaker Paul Ryan, who is very smart and very rational. That doesn’t always get results.
While Ryan was doing what seemed to be the perfectly reasonable thing, counting lawmakers’ votes, President Trump was counting votes of a different kind: The number of votes that had been taken on the floor of the House on Obamacare repeal. The number was, zero. Zero votes.
What Trump, who is also very smart but does not always act so rational — sometimes on purpose — understood is that it’s very easy for people to say, No, this is my place in the road, and I’m not budging from it. But once those headlights are bearing down on you . . .
Ryan hastily scheduled a vote because the White House kept demanding it and Congress was about to leave town. Thursday was the last day, and so, under relentless pressure from Trump and White House Cheif of Staff Reince Priebus, who was desperate to get a health care win to ensure a little job security, a vote was scheduled for Thursday.
It is only when Republicans sensed that they were actually going to have to vote on the bill — when they saw the headlights coming — that they fell into line and got out of the way. They faced voting to preserve Obamacare and potentially ruining Trump’s presidency, so they found reasons to support the measure.
Like another $8 billion to help guarantee care for those with pre-existing conditions, the deal that brought along Rep. Fred Upton and some GOP moderates. Seriously, $8 billion and this sprawling legislation suddenly okay? I think Upton just felt the pressure.
Sitting in the Oval Office Tuesday evening, Trump dialed Upton in his congressional office. The president raised his voice and swore at Upton several times during a 10-minute conversation, sources familiar with the call said. But Upton stood his ground. He explained that he, like Trump, wanted to ensure people with pre-existing conditions were protected, even quoting the president verbatim talking about the need to do so.
Upton didn’t stand his ground. I’m sure that’s the spin coming from the House. Trump bruised him up and then threw him an $8 billion bone and Upton caved.
“They kept saying, ‘You need to vote! You need to call the vote!’ But we were trying to give this space and time to develop as opposed to a pressure cooker,” said one House Republican aide. “We needed to let this play out a little bit. But the White House just couldn’t let this go.”
Well, it was the pressure cooker that worked. Upton hinted a couple of days ago that his conversation with Trump was unpleasant. He felt the pressure. It was a tactic, though nothing personal. Trump, as a businessman, once went into a tirade on the phone, hung up, and then calmly asked an observer, “Do you think it worked?”
Upton and Trump convened at the White House on Wednesday for a much more pleasant meeting. “The president was happy to sign off on their deal,” one senior administration official familiar with the meeting said. “It was all peace and love.”
This is a big step. A lot of people will say that the bill is dead in the Senate and that whatever comes back to the House will be even harder to pass. But that’s not exactly true. Once these things get moving, the pressure ratchets up on lawmakers of the president’s party to support… Continue Reading
Incredibly for someone who took his skills for marketing and branding straight from Fifth Avenue to the Oval Office, President Trump seems to lack a basic understanding of two of the most essential elements of getting things done in Washington: marketing and branding. Trump is failing on Capitol Hill. His Obamacare repeal proposal is again… Continue Reading
It looks like the Republican leadership is going to put the bill on the floor this week, with all but a couple of conservatives now supporting the measure. The question is, how many moderates do they lose? From the Washington Examiner: All but one or two of the approximately three dozen members of the House… Continue Reading
A spokeswoman for the conservative House Freedom said Wednesday afternoon that it has signed onto an Obamacare repeal and replace deal that they have been negotiating with the leader of a faction of House moderates and the White House. “NEWS: Freedom Caucus announces official position of support for AHCA with MacArthur amendment included, tweeted spokeswoman… Continue Reading
Sounds like they’ve got a well-organized, detailed plan. From the Washington Examiner: President Trump, ripping Democrats as “absolutely obstructionists,” appears to be prepared to give up his new push to repeal and replace Obamacare, suggesting that a new target could be in September. “Will it be this week or next week, I don’t know,” he… Continue Reading
Not sure what new formula they have. I know everyone is saying that you need a healthcare bill to raise money for tax reform, that Trump knows he needs to please his base, and so forth. But if there’s one thing that will put this over the top, it’s that Trump doesn’t like to lose.… Continue Reading
He needs to get on his bully pulpit if he’s going to do it and counter Democratic arguments that he’s trying to deny people coverage. President Trump will tackle healthcare policy before pivoting to tax reform despite saying last month that he was done trying to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Washington Examiner reported. “We’re… Continue Reading
Moderates are not happy either. Looks like efforts to revive Obamacare repeal are dead, at least for this week, and Congress is out next week. House conservatives appear ready to walk away from a revived proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare after complaining that the latest plan was being watered down to appeal to more… Continue Reading