The Affordable Care Act, rammed through Congress so the Democrats could realize a dream of five decades, hasn't taken even five years to unravel.
The latest election year debacle for ObamaCare is the withdrawan from ObamaCare by insurance giant Aetna, which has announced that it will halt two-thirds of its ObamaCare coverage. Aetna has lost about $430 million on ObamaCare exchanges in the last two years.
The Democrats' response is typical: blame Aetna. Whatever you do, don't blame the Democrats for a law passed without a single vote from the other party, adopting no ideas outside of ObamaWorld, and using unsavory deals to gain passage.
A Wall Street Journal editorial explains reasoning on the part of the Democrats: Aetna, they say, is retaliating for the Justice Department's blocking its attempt to acquire Humana. Indeed Senator Elizabeth Warren "is now emoting on Facebook" over this alleged transgression.
Whatever the case with the Humana angle, a $430 million loss alone would be a pretty good reason to switch courses.
Speaking of not switching courses, Senator Bernie Sanders is attacking Aetna for making profits and at the same time using the insurance company's ObamaCare withdrawal to push for single-payer health care that he wanted all along. Hot Air's John Sexton comments:
As always with Sanders, everything is an attack on “huge profits.” He doesn’t bother to mention that none of these companies are making huge profits, at least not on the Obamacare segment of their business. On the contrary, after three years of heavy losses, with no end in sight, they are finally giving up.
Just in time for the next chapter of the fight for real health care reform, Hillary Clinton may be president. There are good ideas for patient-centered and market-driven health care reforms coming from the GOP. Another chance to bring real reform and let's hope that, whoever is in the White House, the forces for real reform will this time have a better shot in Congress,
This Just In: Megan McArdle has an a column that provides an interesting twist on the Aetna exit that takes notice of the blocked Humana merger.
But it’s at least plausible that if the government weren’t blocking their mergers, these companies might be willing to go along with those losses for a few years in order to generate some regulatory goodwill for their broader business.
But the bottom line is that the exchanges are losing propositions. Whether you see this as a call for genuine reform or a greenlight for single-payer depends pretty much on which side of the aisle you sit on.