While the Republicans continue to break their promise to repeal ObamaCare, new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reveals that ObamaCare is continuing to implode and taking down millions of Americans in its wake.
According to the data, more than 1,300 counties in the United States will have just one remaining insurer on the ObamaCare exchange in 2018, meaning residents of those counties will be left with little to no options next year when choosing an insurer.
“This could represent more than 2.3 million Exchange participants that will only have one choice and may not be able to receive the coverage they need,” the agency said.
Furthermore, 40 counties are projected to have no insurance carriers on the exchange at all in 2018. And under the existing law, individuals living in areas where there is no insurer offering health coverage would still be penalized by ObamaCare’s individual mandate. Fortunately for those Americans, Republican Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee have introduced legislation that would protect individuals in that predicament from being penalized.
In addition to the diminishing number of insurers on the exchange, CMS also indicates that average ObamaCare premiums have increased by over 20 percent from 2016 to 2017.
In other words, not only are there fewer options on the exchange, but the options are becoming more and more expensive.
President Trump has expressed frustration with his Republican colleagues for repeatedly failing to pass legislation that would repeal ObamaCare. Conservatives have argued that the proposed bills have fallen far too short of the complete repeal promised to the American people since 2010. They contend that the Republican alternatives have failed to address the problems created by ObamaCare.
But moderate Republicans are fearful that a full repeal without an adequate replacement could cost them their seats.
In an effort to push Congress in the right direction, President Trump has issued an ultimatum that threatens Congress’ health plan if ObamaCare is not repealed. “If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?” Trump tweeted on Monday. Over the weekend, Trump similarly warned he would “end” the “BAILOUTS” for members of Congress if they don’t pass a health bill soon.
And while many Americans believe that Congress should be forced to utilize the very same system it created, most are likely hopeful that Congress does not pass sub-par repeal legislation simply to avoid Trump’s ultimatum.
Those who voted for candidates that promised to deliver a complete repeal of ObamaCare have already expressed discontent with some of the solutions that Trump and his administration have thus far offered. So-called repeal proposals have included maintaining all but a handful of ObamaCare regulations, offering millions of Americans federal tax credits and giving insurance companies upwards of $130 billion to keep the health insurance marketplace afloat.
Perhaps if Republicans returned to principles outlined in their party platform, they could create a health care system based on competition and free market principles that would better serve the American people. Free market solutions to the healthcare crisis could include modifications to tax laws to enable tax-free health savings accounts, increased transparency in insurance payments, and diminishing the role of the American Medical Association in certifying medical programs.