Obamacare, the so-called “socialist” flagship healthcare policy that has so far been the feather in the Obama administrations cap, has run aground off some dangerous insurance problems. Millions of Americans now fear that they have lost their health care plans and are now left with no health care coverage whatsoever. Those who will be affected were told that they would be able to keep their doctors and their existing healthcare plans, however they have just found out that they do not qualify and that the new coverage they are being asked to buy is prohibitively expensive for many.
The Democrats are urging Obama to soothe the problem by extending the enrolment dates for Obamacare and relaxing the rules of coverage. Notoriously, the Republicans have never supported the bill and have tried to obstruct it at every stage. The Democrats are now terrified of how the failed healthcare reforms will damage the standing of the party.
The troubles have partly been caused by a glitchy website. Insiders have hinted to press that the Obamacare website was launched before it was fully ready. The rush to sign up coupled with the intense jargon that was given to insurance companies to decipher caused the now notorious meltdown of the website. Obama, in a moment of uncharacteristic clumsiness, told press that he was unable to fix the problem due to his lack of computer programming experience. Such wit is doing nothing to endear the American public to him or his party.
Insurance companies, for their part, are fearing that the lack of signups will cause instability in the insurance market. Under the current situation, many young people who are currently healthy are priced out of healthcare coverage and are choosing not to buy coverage at all. This means that the majority of health care plans are owned by older people and people with long-standing health care problems. This could mean that in the future there are too many people asking for payouts and not enough people paying into the insurance system.
The government will provide cushioning for the insurance companies who become burdened by too many sick patients and not enough healthy customers. The first method is reinsurance. The government pays out money to insurance companies via the Health and Human Services Department. Another way to do it is to have companies provide risk adjustment cover for each other. For example, an insurer can pay out to another, more troubled insurer, if it is in a better place. This form of cover would help to balance out insurance payments in individual states. The fresh law solicitors would like to see is one that maintains checks and balances in the insurance system.
It remains to be seen if Obama will be able to salvage the Affordable Care Act. All eyes are on him as he struggles to see his vision through. He has already disappointed on matters such as Guantánamo Bay, and the public are watching to see whether the glorious optimism of his first term will bear fruit in fair and affordable health care for all.