Hillary is vulnerable on health care, Donald.

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 10/7/16

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Three stories – from Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arizona – drive our discussion today.

First Tennessee.

According to a story this week in the Wall Street Journal, the state insurance commissioner, Julie Mix McPeak, has approved health insurance company rate increase requests of up to 62 percent in an attempt to save the state’s Obamacare exchange. “I would characterize the exchange market as very near collapse,” she said.

Then comes news that BlueCross/BlueShield of Tennessee is pulling out of the state’s largest health care exchange markets – Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis – citing losses in excess of a half billion dollars.

United Healthcare announced last April that it is exiting Tennessee, again due to unsustainable losses.

Community Health Alliance, the Tennessee insurance co-op set up under Obamacare, is winding itself down due to financial failure.

Altogether, upwards of 200,000 Tennesseans will have to go find new coverage. They’ll find that they have few choices while facing skyrocketing premiums.

Now to Oklahoma.

BlueCross/BlueShield of Oklahoma has submitted rate increase requests that range from 58 to 96 percent – again because of unsustainable losses. About 130,000 Oklahomans who purchase individual coverage via Obamacare are affected. Those folks are just stuck. That’s because BlueCross/BlueShield is now the only company still on the Obamacare exchange in Oklahoma.

Nearly everywhere you look across the  country, Obamacare exchanges are in various stages of collapse. None of the promises of the ironically-named Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act has been kept. The cost curve did not get bent downward. The average family is not saving $2,500 per year. Despite President Obama’s promises, consumers can’t keep health care plans with which they were happy, just as they can’t keep their doctors.

RELATED: Former President Bill Clinton calls Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world.”

None of this was supposed to happen (although many of us knew it would).

The cynic, not without justification, will say that Obamacare was designed from the jump with the intention that it fail. As the state exchanges – which all rely on insurance purchased from for-profit insurance companies – begin to collapse, an opening is formed for the Left to say that it just proves that insurance companies are too greedy. What we need, they’ll say, is a federal single-payer system – i.e. government health care.

That takes us to Phoenix, Arizona.

There we learn that two years after the Phoenix VA hospital scandal, veterans are still dying waiting for appointments and the VA is still trying to cover it all up.

Thus we come to a presidential election against a backdrop of widespread Obamacare collapse and the near perfect illustration that if the federal government can’t provide health care to a few hundred veterans in a single hospital in Arizona, there’s not a snowball’s chance that it can meet the health care needs of 320 million Americans flung across a continent.

Memo to Donald Trump: Despite the media wishing they would, most Americans don’t really care about your taxes or Miss Universe. But they care very deeply about affording their health care.

Hillary supported Obamacare, Donald. In the next two debates, make her regret it.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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7 Responses

  1. Why just cherry-pick THREE states? Check all of ’em where sorehead Republican governors turned down Medicare dough. And they left-the-job to Uncle Sam by not doing state exchanges, which are doing well elsewhere (so far).

    A smarter one TOOK BACK that money, which his state, like yours, sent to Washington.
    He’s John Kasich of Ohio, a state without which no Republican has won the White House.

    PS: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/obamacare-charts-stats-health-care-reform

    NOT THAT IT MATTERS.
    Trump’s two problems are utterly unrelated to the issue you raise:
    1. Demography: WOMEN will elect the president, and Trump wasn’t ready for that.
    2. Geography: The Electoral College picks the Prez. Read the map:

    Want to effect change?
    Think Senate 2018:
    GOP will lose control in November. Again, the map.
    But Dems are even more vulnerable in two years than Repubs are this time, which is extremely.

    Things have a way of working out.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      I picked three states because they are the ones most recently in the news and because they are states that set up exchanges EXACTLY the way the architects of Obamacare envisioned. But there are many more examples. Sixteen of 23 state insurance insurance co-ops set up under Obamacare have now gone bankrupt.

      Obamacare is, by any objective analysis, an unmitigated disaster. It delivered on NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THE PROMISES MADE by its proponents. The majority of American opposed it before its passage and a majority of Americans oppose it now.

      We’ll see how the electoral map plays out. But I wasn’t arguing the electoral map. I was arguing that most grand, liberal, big-government designs like Obamacare don’t work. Democrats own Obamacare and can quite properly be taken to task for it and quite properly should be.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is certainly the Democrats who wrote and enacted the law, but some of the blame must lay at the feet of the Republicans as well. The Heritage Foundation (a Republican think tank) has advocated for health insurance exchanges for many years. There are certainly some differences between their ideas and what was ultimately enacted, but I haven’t seen a thorough analysis showing how those modifications rendered their original idea untenable.

  2. Linda E Montrose says:

    Back when billy boy was president, the hildabeast tried her best to get the current “obamacare” into the works then…it failed! Never got off the ground. Sure, the hildabeast endorsed obamacare, the major components of it were hers to start with. The truth of the matter is that the liberals have wanted a single payer system for a very long time now. It was only when the resident illegal marched his will over the United Stares with the help of nancy pelosi was it accomplished. It was meant to break the bank so to speak. It was no secret what was wanted and how to accomplish it. The hildabeast will be the final wrecking ball if she is put into office as the present person was. The woman does not know what TRUTH is, never has evidently. What makes people think she will change once she is in the oval office? She will continue to sell us and this country out just as planned.

  3. Richard Anderson says:

    Obamacare is in a death spiral and all informed Americans since day one, knew that is was untenable.
    American Free Enterprise competition with every private sector insurance company able to offer a multitude of plans, being allowed to compete freely without bureaucratic interference from DC in any state across every state line is the best way, as Mr. Trump advocates. Socialized medicine aka “obamacare” as well as single payer has FAILED miserably in every country and on every front when it has been tried– 1. poor medical quality of care 2. no new medicine innovation 3. untenable financially [UNAFFORDABLE] 4. outrageous wait times and 4. complete loss of personal control over one’s own care [can’t choose or keep your own doctor of choice AND can’t go where you want to go for care].
    Fine essay, Mr. Gleiser, right on point!

  4. R. Eagleman says:

    In addition to all of the evidence that is very plain for anyone who is willing to see, just look at the V.A. as the model for the A.C.A. (Obamacare). Having completed a residency at the V.A. in Dallas, TX, I can tell you first hand that this is NOT the health care system that we want or need. The patients are treated as if they are receiving care as a public service, instead of a benefit that was promised when these veterans were being enlisted into our armed forces. In some clinics, these heroes are herded in and out like cattle, while staff members enjoy long coffee breaks and lunch periods. If you wonder why these employees are not reprimanded or fired, take a look at the arcane civil service laws. Those patients who have been waiting in the reception room all day many times are told: “sorry, you will need to come back tomorrow”. Those from out of the area must go out and try to find a place to spend the night at their own expense; maybe they will be seen the next day, and maybe not. Absolutely anytime that you have a non-competitive service, whether in the U.S. or Russia, this is what you get! If anyone doubts that a single payer system is not the dream of Hillary and the Democrat party, then that person has not been paying attention. Once health care is controlled by government, you control the behavior, and yes, the votes of the population. By excluding health care for certain behaviors which are deemed risky by bureaucrats, you control that class of individuals. If owning a firearm is declared to be dangerous to have in your home for whatever reason, (accident or suicide), health care can be withheld from that “offender”. There is no need to repeal the 2nd Amendment. You will notice that the politicians have their “own” plan and are not part of this scheme; that should be the first clue. In almost every country that has fallen into a tyrannical government without a military coup, you will notice that the fall has been preceded by controlling guns and health care. The logical conclusion of Obamacare results in controlling both with only one statute.

  5. Insuring a house already on fire is an idea that only a liberal would image as profitable. The insurance companies that bought into this government scam DESERVE to lose millions, if not billions, and they are.

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