Obamacare | The Government's Takeover of Health Care
"Unisurables" Program in Obamacare Begins to Wind Down
Monday, 25 February 2013 08:12
Written by Justin Credible
When Obamacare was rammed into law, it was positioned as the only way to expand health care insurance to the uninsured, as well as to provide insurance to the "uninsurable," or those who couldn't get treatment because of pre-existing conditions. We equated this to tearing down a house because there's a leaky toilet. The high-risk pool has been in place for over a year, as it was a stepping stone until Obamacare went into full effect in 2014. Now, due to high costs, the Obama administration is shutting the program down.
Yes, you read that correctly. Obamacare was rammed into law under the notion that Americans with pre-existing conditions, which account for less than 1% of the population, would be able to get treatment and wouldn't be denied care. However, the reality is that it's too costly to cover these individuals through the high risk pools that liberals believed would spread out the costs.
Citing financial concerns, the Obama administration has begun quietly winding down one of the earliest programs created by the president's health care overhaul, a plan that helps people with medical problems who can't get private insurance.
In an afternoon teleconference with state counterparts, administration officials said Friday the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will stop taking new applications. People already in the plan will not lose coverage.
Designed as a stopgap solution until the law's full consumer protections are in effect next year, PCIP has served more than 135,000 people, a lifeline for patients with serious medical problems such as cancer and heart failure. But Congress allocated a limited amount of money, and the administration's technical experts want to make sure it doesn't run out.
Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt said PCIP has "provided needed security to some of our nation's sickest people."
The plan covers people who have had problems getting private insurance because of a medical condition and have been uninsured for at least six months. Premiums are keyed to average rates charged in each state, which means they're not necessarily cheap, often amounting to several hundred dollars a month for middle-aged individuals.
"We're glad this program was here and able to help," said Amie Goldman, who oversees the program in Wisconsin. "I'm certainly disappointed we won't be able to serve everyone who has a need for this coverage."
Starting next January 1, insurance companies will no longer be able to turn anyone away because of poor health. At the same time, the federal government will begin subsidizing coverage for millions of individuals who have no access to employer plans. That means many of the people currently in the PCIP program may end up with lower premiums once the government's financial help is factored in.
The enrollment suspension will take effect immediately in 23 states where the federal government administers the program, Goldman said. Residents of states that run their own programs may have longer. Wisconsin residents, for example, have until March 2 to apply.
Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.
In documents provided to the states, the administration said the program has spent about $2.4 billion in taxpayer money on medical claims and nearly $180 million on administrative costs, as of Dec. 31. Congress allocated $5 billion to the plan.
This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Throughout history, socialized health care has never worked and it will never work. What this shows is that President Obama and his Obamacare politburo knew this would happen shortly after his re-election, covering him from the negative news on his flawed health care plan.
Justin Credible is a contributing editor for Habledash.