Via @Freddoso, this is possibly even a bigger deal than it looks. Basically, Arches Health Plan (the Utah Obamacare nonprofit co-op) has been essentially turned off, on very little notice. Over 65,000 people will pretty much lose immediately lose their insurance over this.
[The] 35,000 people who bought Arches [Health Plan cooperative] plans via the exchange or from insurance brokers or agents will now have to find new health insurance for 2016. The co-op also has to stop writing new policies for businesses immediately, Utah Insurance Commissioner Todd Kiser said. Arches insures 31,000 people through employer-sponsored plans, a spokeswoman said.
It was either turn it off, or watch it collapse on its own: Arches was locked into the same death spiral that has been plaguing state nonprofit Obamacare co-ops. Turns out that taking a ‘temporary’ government subsidy right from the beginning apparently does nothing for your eventual profitability except mask for a while the uncomfortable fact that you’re never going to be profitable. Who knew?
…Yes, that was a rhetorical question.
For those keeping track at home, this is the tenth of the nonprofit Obama co-ops to fail (previous failures were Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, and – just recently – South Carolina). This would be ten out of the twenty-three that were created under Obamacare – and that number’s probably going to keep going up, because the non-profit co-ops are almost uniformly unprofitable. And it keeps happening for the same reason: the federal government subsidies that were supposedly there to cushion the co-ops until they could work on their own turned about to instead be artificially keeping the co-ops alive. But the feds aren’t paying out those subsidies anymore, and thus the co-ops are collapsing, one by one.
You may be wondering why this is coming as a terrible, awful surprise to the Left at this point. It’s not a surprise to the people running the Democratic party, of course: but their rank and file members aren’t really what you’d call prepared for a debacle of this level. And that’s because the Democratic rank-and-file have been steadily fed a Big Lie about Obamacare: to wit, All the problems we were having with our health care were problems nobody wanted to fix.
Like any good Big Lie, the ‘answer’ could be edited to suit the particular prejudices of the audience. Did one person think that Big Business is evil? Then the insurance companies wouldn’t voluntarily do anything that hurt their bottom line. Was another an unwitting devotee of Technocracy*? Why, there were so many fixes that will boost productivity and end waste! But nobody inside the system can see them. Or maybe yet another was just a political science enthusiast, or other amateur practitioner of the occult arts? Hey! You can do anything in public policy if you just wish hard enough**.
…You get the picture. Everything we’ve seen about Obamacare suggests that it was put together under the core assumption that – for one reason or another -there was a tremendous amount of untapped wiggle room for changing our health care system before said changes ran into the unforgiving steel walls of Math. Turns out that… there wasn’t.
And, forgive me for saying this: but we told you so.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*A popular belief of the 1920s and 1930s, just like eugenics, Fascism, and the efficacy of pre-frontal lobotomies.
**Derived from an old Tom Clancy comment. I suspect that reading that line was one of the things that resulted in me drifting away in my twenties from my rather comfortable, blue-collar Truman Democrat mindset.