The Portland Press Herald reported Aug. 16 that Aetna has canceled its plans to enter the Maine marketplace for federally subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known popularly as “Obamacare.” Mentioned only briefly in the article is that this action is part of Aetna’s broad retreat from the market across the country, coinciding with the decision of other major health insurers to also pull back

Not too long ago, the newspaper’s editorial writers reached the bizarre conclusion that the financial collapse of one of the exchanges in Maine, Community Health Options, provided a signal of the success of Obamacare, that somehow this meant that competition in the marketplace was prevailing. What do the editors have to say about these recent withdrawals?

The fact is that Obamacare is a failure on many fronts. First of all, any respite from the rising cost of health insurance has proved temporary, evidenced by double-digit rate increases scheduled to take effect next year. The subsidies that the exchanges had been promised have not materialized, causing exchanges across the land to file suit against the federal government. “Choice” is rapidly disappearing.

The biggest failure of Obamacare is the changes that have occurred on the employment front, with employers, especially in the retail industry, moving to a part-time model so as to avoid having to provide health care that is mandated for full-time workers. This has permitted the Obama administration the fraud of claiming full employment in the slowest economic recovery on record.

Do we really have full employment when retailers are hiring three people to do the job that one person can do?

Michael A. Smith