For the past couple of days Democrats have been touting a study by the kaiser foundation stating that the Obamacare insurance market has stabilized. The premise of the report is simple. The loss margin was down therefore the insurance companies were doing better. In 2016 insurance companies paid out 86% of all premiums collected in insurance claims. In 2017 they have so far paid out 75% of all premium claims collected in the first quarter. This data is used to claim that the Obamacare market is stable and is not in a death spiral. Second they state that the amount of days spent in a hospital per 1000 patients is similar to last year which means that the health pool is not getting sicker.
Lets take a look at this one first since it is hilarious. In 2011 the average amount of days per 1000 was 20.6 in 2012 it was 21.2 in 2013 it had risen to 21.6 and lastly in 2014 it had gone to 21.7. Over 4 years there was an increase of 1.1 days. By 2016 the amount had risen to 23.8 days and in 2017 it had gone up to 24.7.
The very study that they use to show that Obamacare had stabilized and that the health pool is not getting sicker shows a 0.9 increase over 1 year when it had only increased 1.1 days over 4 years previously.
Premiums and Loss Margin
Can anyone think of something that happened last year that would cause this? That’s right the insurance companies jacked up their premiums massively. Of course the data will show you are paying less money as a percentage of the premiums you collect. It is not because you are paying less money in claims as your health pool is getting sicker as evidenced by your own data but because you are collecting more money.
There is good news though. Insurance companies are already signalling another round of massive increases to premiums for Obamacare plans this year. Some will even go 40-50% higher in just one year. Congratulations. I guess Obamacare will be much more stable.
To summarize the arguments offered by the Kaiser foundation in defense of Obamacare. Our health pool got sicker 4 times as fast as previous years and premiums are going up at unprecedented rates therefore Obamacare is working! lol.