Propaganda from The New York Times:
By Reed Abelson | April 7, 2017
In contrast to the dire pronouncements from President Trump and other Republicans, the demise of the individual insurance market seems greatly exaggerated, according to a new financial analysis released Friday.
The analysis, by Standard & Poor’s, looked at the performance of many Blue Cross plans in nearly three dozen states since President Barack Obama’s health care law took effect three years ago. It shows the insurers significantly reduced their losses last year, are likely to break even this year and that most could profit — albeit some in the single-digits — in 2018. The insurers cover more than five million people in the individual market.
After years in which many insurers lost money, then lost even more in 2015, “we are seeing the first signs in 2016 that this market could be manageable for most health insurers,” the Standard & Poor’s analysts said. The “market is not in a ‘death spiral,’ ” they said.
It is the latest evidence that the existing law has not crippled the market where individuals can buy health coverage, although several insurers have pulled out of some markets, including two in Iowa just this week. They and other industry specialists have cited the uncertainty surrounding the Congressional debate over the law, and the failed effort two weeks ago by House Republicans to bring a bill to the floor for a vote.
There’s a lot more at the original, but the important point is this: this is an analysis, which claims that insurers may become profitable in the exchanges, sometime in the future, but insurers are losing money now, which is why so many have pulled out. Do you think that companies would be leaving the Knoxville, Tennessee market with zero exchange insurers if they were making money?
Although it took longer than expected, the insurers appear to be starting to understand how the new individual market works, said Deep Banerjee, an S.&P. credit analyst who helped write the report. The companies have aggressively increased their prices, so they are now largely covering their medical costs, Mr. Banerjee said. They have also significantly narrowed their networks to include fewer doctors and hospitals as a way to lower those costs.
What does that mean? Well, the “Although it took longer than expected” part tells you that previous analyses, also made by experts, were wrong. That “companies have aggressively increased their prices” tells you what we already knew: that ACA exchange insurance rates have skyrocketed, something which past analyses also failed to predict. And the cost cutting measures listed tell you that no, not only do you not get to keep your doctor if you like him, but that the quality of medical care is being lowered, in the name of saving money.
And, let’s be honest here: the better physicians, the ones people really want to see, are the ones who are no longer part of the scheme. They are the ones with the highest rates, just as you’d expect.
Conservatives told you that this would happen!
When insurers start re-entering the laughably-named Affordable Care Act exchanges, then we will have real evidence that they have become profitable; as they keep pulling out, we know that they are seeing situations in which they cannot make money. Perhaps The New York Times will tell us when that happens.