UnitedHealth Group Won’t Play the Health Care Game with Exchanges - ‘Bails Out’



For Immediate Release
April 27, 2016

Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com


UnitedHealth Group Won’t Play the Health 

Care Game with Exchanges—‘Bails Out’


Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: State Exchanges 

Need the Insurance Giant More Than It Needs Them


ST. PAUL, Minn.—UnitedHealth Group, Inc., is leaving more and more state Obamacare exchanges, announcing recently that it will also pull out of the health care marketplaces in Kentucky and Iowa, bringing to 26 the number of states the health insurer is quitting next year, according to Bloomberg.com.

For years, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a national patient-centered health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights, has been advising Americans not to enroll in state exchanges for this very reason.

“UnitedHealth Group has the size, the money and the power to decide whether they will play the health care game or not, and they can write the rules,” said Twila Brase, co-founder and president of CCHF. “UHG, the nation’s largest insurer, can say to the state exchanges, because we are operating without government bailout money and risk adjustment funds, and because we are losing millions, we’re now bailing out on you. UHG doesn’t need the exchanges to survive, but the exchanges do need insurance companies, so the insurers have control. Therefore, this could be the beginning of the end for the Obamacare exchanges.”

UnitedHealth Group’s CEO said last week that the company would only offer plans for the Affordable Care Act in a “handful of states” for 2017, but has not listed those states yet, Bloomberg also reported. UHG will continue to offer small-business plans off the exchange in Kentucky and Iowa.

“Some say government will be in control in a nationalized health care system, but thus far, the American version of socialized medicine has put larger health plans in charge,” Brase said. “These plans have the power to say to Obamacare architects, ‘If you want exchanges to be a success, you’ll need to do something different to keep us in the game.’”

Brase added that insurance company bailouts have been prohibited since December 2014, yet insurers were given $12 billion in relief through a delay of the health insurer tax. Since then, however, insurance companies are losing out monetarily because state exchanges are not working as designed—having young, healthy enrollees pay for older, sicker patients—which CCHF predicted.

UnitedHealth Group may have many reasons for exiting the exchanges, Brase said, certainly for the financial losses, but the move may also be a way of communicating its disagreement with the lack money for bailouts.

“This is how Obamacare exchanges could end,” Brase said. “Healthcare.gov would dissolve because, eventually, there will be insufficient funding. A piece of every premium dollar from Obamacare enrollees goes toward exchange operations, so once those premiums become less and less—as insurance companies and, therefore, patients exit—there will be nothing left to pay the bills.

“It is our hope at Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom that even more insurers will ‘bail out’ of the state exchanges so the exchange system collapses,” she continued. “States would then decide how to help their own people—which should be the case. It’s our hope that UnitedHealth Group is leading this charge—the beginning of the exodus—away from Obamacare exchanges and the implosion of this government super structure.”

Brase discusses headline-making health care issues on CCHF’s daily one-minute radio feature “Health Freedom Minute.” Heard on almost 400 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network, “Health Freedom Minute” helps listeners learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives, as well as steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. The 60-second program is free for stations to run; for details, contact Michael Hamilton at mhamilton@hamiltonstrategies.com or (610) 584-1096 or (215) 519-4838.

For more information about CCHF, visit its web site at www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cchfreedom or its Twitter feed, @CCHFreedom.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., exists to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on approximately 400 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives and​ steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” A public health nurse, Brase has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.


For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.


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