Despite unrelenting bad news, there is still more Obamacare failure to come. And more stories for the media to bury.
More Obamacare failure is in the news (though not given much attention) but it was predictable. Here’s the Aetna CEO from two years ago.
Now, we learn from the Associated Press that it only got worse:
Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year, as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.
The nation’s third largest insurer said Tuesday that significant challenges faced by the state-based exchanges are forcing the company to withdraw expansion its plans and think about its future participation in the 15 states where it currently sells coverage.
Aetna was planning to expand to a few states like New Jersey and Indiana for 2017. The Hartford, Connecticut, insurer said earlier this year that it had lost more than $100 million on its exchange business last year, but company leaders said they thought the exchanges still might represent a good business opportunity.
Of course, relative to normal news about Obamacare, a company deciding not to expand could almost be spun as good news. But remember, other exchanges have failed and insurers have pulled out. The system needed Aetna to expand for both propaganda and economic reasons.
And the statement that Aetna needs to “think about its future participation in the 15 states where it currently sells coverage,” tells you that they aren’t yet willing to admit the truth. That headline waits until after the election in November.
Companies say they have been struggling with higher-than-expected claims and a shortfall in government assistance, among other issues, since the exchanges opened for enrollment in the fall of 2013.
This is a perfect example of government’s competence to make life better (i.e. it is unable to do so), but the media will make sure to focus on something else.