Dr. Scott Gottlieb was recently a guest on the nationally-syndicated weekly radio show Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett. Dr. Gottlieb is a practicing physician and has held many roles at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including Senior Advisor for Medical Technology, Director of Medical Policy Development, and most recently, Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. Dr. Gottlieb has also served as Senior Policy Advisor at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is a published author.
He recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal published on September 14th titled, “Clinton’s Stealthy Single Player Gambit.” He begins his article by stating that 2017 will be the worst year yet for ObamaCare.
“I think what’s going to happen is the ObamaCare system itself won’t crumble. It’s just going to be fewer choices than it is now,” said Dr. Gottlieb told Bennett. “But the choices that you have are going to look more and more like Medicaid plan. So the way these premium increases are going to be held down in the future is that the plans themselves are going to be cheapened out to the point where they’re basically like Medicaid plans.”
He continued, “And in fact, if you see what’s happening inside ObamaCare, the reason why choices are leaving the market right now is because traditional commercial insurers like Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna and Anthem this week announced they’re getting out of the ObamaCare market but what’s growing their footprint inside these ObamaCare changes are the traditional HMOs that have serviced the Medicaid market like Molina and even some of the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. So this is going to look like a Medicaid benefit.”
But why are the dramatic price increases and fewer choices associated with ObamaCare occurring now? According to Dr. Gottlieb, initially the insurance companies thought this was going to be a more viable market, one that more young and healthy consumers would be entering, with more people entering ObamaCare. But, that wasn’t the case. Other than the very narrow income demographic, people realized ObamaCare isn’t a good financial deal and fewer healthy people entered the market.
“Now the insurance companies are realizing this isn’t the viable risk pool that they can service,” said Dr. Gottlieb. “With a higher cost, higher margin product, that offers more choice but that’s also more expensive to administer.”
Dr. Gottlieb said he thinks we’re going to see a dramatic change in the market where we’re currently seeing private plans get out.
“This isn’t really going to be commensurate with commercial coverage. It’s going to be a Medicaid benefit for working class Americans who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but are being forced into ObamaCare,” he explained. “Many of these folks are going to be people who had employer-provided coverage that might have been better in the past and now they’re going to be downgraded into ObamaCare.”
So what does this mean for the future of healthcare in the United States? To find out, view his entire interview with Dawn J. Bennett here.