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Scott Gottlieb: Obamacare Faces A ‘Death Spiral’ — But It Turns On The Declining Participation Of Health Plans, Not Just Rising Premiums October 28, 2013

Given the failed launch of Obamacare, there’s a real chance that the entire scheme falls into an “insurance death spiral” — but not as visibly (or rapidly) as the way these sorts of unsuccessful insurance pools usually unravel.

A death spiral happens when only the sickest beneficiaries get into an insurance pool, causing the cost of medical claims to rise, and in turn raising future premiums.

These higher premiums, in turn, dissuade healthier beneficiaries from buying coverage. This exacerbates the strains and makes sure the pool continues to attract only the sickest consumers who are most in need of the medical coverage, and willing to pay the rising premiums. This is how the downward spiral ensues.

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