UnitedHealthcare Is the Canary in the Obamacare Coal Mine

With Congress limiting the bailouts of insurance companies for two years in a row, business is not looking good for the industry that lobbied for Obamacare. The latest casualty is UnitedHealthcare, which announced that it is withdrawing from most of its 34 Obamacare exchanges next year.

Announcing the decision during a first quarter earnings conference call, UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley said, “The smaller overall market size and shorter-term, higher-risk profile within this market segment continue to suggest we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis.”

Due to congressional limits on insurance company bailouts, in October the Department of Health and Human Services transferred $362 million to loss-making insurance companies, rather than the $2.9 billion that they requested.

The Health Insurance Association of America, under the leadership of Karen Ignagni, lobbied heavily in favor of the Affordable Care Act. But now the pool of insured is smaller and sicker than they anticipated.

UnitedH