41% of U.S. Counties Could Have Only One Obamacare Insurer Next Year
At this point, it would be nice if the Senate could come up with a decent plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something market friendly and workable.
But it probably won't matter. What Democrats don't get is that Obamacare is doomed to extinction -- if not by Republicans, then by the weight of its own idiocies.
An analysis by a health care think tank found that next year, more than 40% of all counties in the U.S. will have only one company offering health care plans. That's up from about 33% this year. More significantly, only 27% of counties will have three or more insurers to choose from, down from 64% in 2016. The number of counties with no insurance coverage at all -- now at 47 -- is expected to rise.
The average price increase in premiums for 2018 is projected to be, on average, 18%.
"In addition to the cost of premiums, insurer decisions around whether or not to offer plans in the exchanges will impact shoppers," said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president of the group. "Consumers will see fewer choices on the exchange again in 2018, with some counties at risk of having no options."
Their analysis also finds that premiums for Obamacare's silver plan will increase at about 18 percent on average in 2018. The group compiled this data based on insurers who have filed their rate increases, noting that many have experienced uncertainty due to the future of the cost-sharing reduction payments. These subsidies were put in question after two House committees said that payments were being made unconstitutionally because they were made without an appropriation from Congress.
"The debate over the Affordable Care Act and cost sharing reduction funding casts uncertainty over the market," said Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere. "But despite all of this activity, the vast majority of consumers will still have commercial exchange options in 2018."
The reasons for the meltdown of Obamacare listed in the think tank report read like a list of talking points for those who opposed Obamacare in 2010:
Avalere experts cite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cost sharing reductions (CSRs), as well as inadequate risk-mitigation programs, lower-than-expected exchange enrollment, and declining plan participation, as likely contributors to premium growth in 2018.
Democrats have not offered a comprehensive plan to fix Obamacare, so it's reasonable to assume they don't care about the dead people that will be piling up at their door as a result of people dropping off their plans because they're too expensive. They didn't care when 5 million people lost their coverage when Obamacare was implemented. Why should they care now?
Instead of accusing Republicans of trying to kill people, maybe the Democrats should come up with a salvage plan for Obamacare of their own. It sure beats political posturing and outright lying. But then, there's no fun in that.