This month could mark a turning point in national health policy. Big insurance companies have been pressuring Congress for a bailout—in the form of more taxpayer subsidies—to “stabilize” Obamacare.
Congress must decide whether to maintain Obamacare on artificial life support, with yet another infusion of billions in taxpayer dollars, or tackle the tough task of replacing Obamacare’s broken individual health insurance market with alternatives that don’t depend on new taxpayer subsidies to make coverage affordable for middle-class consumers.
Make no mistake. It was inevitable from the beginning that Obamacare would, thanks to its design, devolve into what it has now become: a heavily subsidized high-risk pool for low-income enrollees.
While the offer of subsidized coverage attracted high-cost enrollees, it failed to attract lower-cost enrollees, particularly young adults. Among the consequences: This year, over half of the nation’s counties—including all the counties in 10 states—have only one insurer selling exchange coverage, and nearly three-quarters of exchange plans have restrictive provider networks.