The Obamacare Marketplace’s Continued Collapse

Insurance companies are leaving the Obamacare exchanges. Apparently stringent regulation does NOT bring costs down. Michael Cannon explains what is going on in Pinal County, Arizona:

Obamacare requires insurers to do certain things, but only if they want to stay in the market. If the cost of those things proves too great — and Obamacare’s architects were very good at making lots of generous promises — insurers can leave. Obamacare asked insurers to cover so many pre-existing conditions in Pinal County’s exchange that it ultimately forced them to cover none. President Obama wanted to reduce discrimination in health insurance; in Pinal County, he increased it.

Let me be clear. Obamacare positively requires the very sort of discrimination it purports to prohibit. Arizona regulators report that two unnamed insurers will sell Obamacare plans to individual Pinal County residents, just not through the exchange. Only higher-income residents, who are likely to be in better health, can afford Obamacare’s unsubsidized premiums. Without Obamacare, those insurers could cover lots of Pinal County residents with moderate incomes. But Obamacare forces them to cover so many preexisting conditions that only the wealthy get coverage.

Will these residents still be subject to the individual mandate?

And Obamacare will still penalize those residents if they don’t buy coverage — even if the amount they must pay increases tenfold or more. Though they can no longer access the subsidies that made Obamacare coverage affordable, the fact that they are still technically eligible for subsidies means that, by law, coverage is still affordable for them and they must buy it or pay the penalty.

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