Back in 2013 I wrote a book called The ObamaCare Train Wreck which detailed the passage of this new healthcare law and speculated on the impact it would have on the country. One of the chapters is called “Winners and Losers” and tried to predict who would benefit from the Affordable Care Act. Now that we have three years experience with the law it’s time to see how accurate those predictions were.
- Uninsured with Low Incomes – This is not the really poor people, who were already receiving Medicaid, but those who earned just enough to make them ineligible for Medicaid. ObamaCare has increased the eligibility for Medicaid in those 32 states that accepted the provisions of the law. These people now have Medicaid insurance whereas before the law they were uninsured. Some would say they are obvious winners but the truth is that health outcome studies have repeatedly shown that the uninsured do better than those on Medicaid. The decline in the number of uninsured Americans comes mostly (70%) from the expansion of Medicaid.
- Uninsured with pre-existing conditions – Perhaps these people represent the biggest winners in the new law since they now have insurance and they didn’t have to pay the actual cost of that insurance (ObamaCare uses community rating prices rather than actuarial prices).
- Union workers – They were considered winners because they received preferential treatment by Obama to delay the Cadillac tax until 2018 and to waive the $63 dollar “reinsurance tax” that everyone else pays per employee per year. These benefits will expire soon, however, putting them in the same situation as everyone else.
- Congressional and White House Staff – They received preferential treatment by Obama, too, allowing them to receive federal subsidies even beyond the 400% of FPL level that limits the poor. The more ethical members of Congress declined these benefits for themselves but clearly they are winners under ObamaCare.
- Healthcare Insurance Companies – I put them in the original list of winners but now they are clearly losers. Their Faustian pact with Obama is imploding before their eyes as they lose millions, even billions under this new healthcare law. The evidence of this is the recent withdrawal of major insurers Aetna, United Health, and Humana from most of the ObamaCare exchanges. In about one-third of all U.S. counties there is only one insurance company to choose from on the exchanges and in another third there are only two choices in 2017.
- Pharmaceutical Companies – They were also considered winners in the original list but their fate is closely tied to the insurance companies. As the insurance companies implode, so will the pharmaceutical companies. In the long run they will surely be losers as the government gains greater control of the system and forces them into price fixing.
- Information Technology and Marketing Companies – These people have made millions off this new healthcare law building software products to run the state and federal exchanges and spreading the propaganda to the American people. Unfortunately they will likely continue to be winners.
- Trial attorneys and Identity Thieves – ObamaCare will continue to offer opportunities for those who thrive on the misery of others.
Next post I’ll list the predicted losers under ObamaCare and then summarize the two lists as they stand today. Which list do you think you will fall under?