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Aetna CEO Warns That Obamacare Is In A “Death Spiral”

The CEO of Aetna warned that Obamacare is continuing to deteriorate in midst of its “death spiral.”

At the Future of Healthcare event put on by the Wall Street Journal, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said that Obamacare was only “getting worse” because there weren’t enough young, healthy enrollees to pay for the sick people covered by the Obamacare exchanges. Bertolini said it was due to “how poorly structured the funding mechanism and premium model is,” as premiums keep increasing with the death spiral, causing less people to sign up, and thus resulting in even higher premiums.

“I think you will see a lot more withdrawals this year of plans,” Bertolini said.

On Wednesday, Humana–which came to a mutual agreement with Aetna not to merge–announced that it was withdrawing from Obamacare altogether. In 2016, UnitedHealth also announced that they would be pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges, and Aetna itself said they would only stay in four Obamacare exchanges.

Bertolini stated at the event that the company has not decided if it will remain in these Obamacare exchanges.

“There isn’t any risk sharing going on in Nebraska,” Bertolini said, pointing to the fact that Aetna was the only insurer left in that exchange. “It will cost us a lot of money.”

Bertolini suggested that the Republicans’ Obamacare replacement proposal feature health savings account and high-risk pools.

The Republicans would be wise to take Bertolini’s advice and run with his warnings about Obamacare’s future. The problem is that indications point to Obamacare’s repeal and replacement not happening until at least next year. Meanwhile, Obamacare will only continue to worsen.

Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter @bandlersbanter.

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