Guy has already written about the 2017 premium Armageddon that’s about to screw over millions of Americans. The premiums hikes are expected to go up on average by double-digits; Arizona is looking at a 75 percent increase. It’s a total disaster for a law that even Bill Clinton called “the craziest thing in the world.” Yet, what about choice in the health care market? Well, for now, the law is offering the least amount in terms of choice since the law was enacted (via AP):
Americans in the health insurance markets created by President Barack Obama's law will have less choice next year than any time since the program started, a new county-level analysis for The Associated Press has found.
The analysis by AP and consulting firm Avalere Health found that about one-third of U.S. counties will have only one health marketplace insurer next year. That's more than 1,000 counties in 26 states — roughly double the number of counties in 2014, the first year of coverage through the program.
With insurance notices for 2017 in the mail, families are already facing difficult choices, even weighing whether to stay covered.
Largely as a result of the Affordable Care Act, the nation's uninsured rate has dropped to a historically low level, less than 9 percent. But the program hasn't yet found stable footing, and it remains politically divisive. Insurer participation rose in 2015 and 2016, only to plunge.
Dwindling choice could be a trickier issue than rising premiums for the Obama administration and advocates of the 2010 law, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Most customers get financial assistance, and their subsidies are designed to rise along with premiums, which are increasing an average of 25 percent in states served by HealthCare.gov. But there is no comparable safety valve for disruptions caused by insurers bailing out.
Well, for starters, the co-ops that were established to spur competition among insurers and expand Obamacare choices to rural America have failed. Twenty-three were established, only six remain—and those are on life support as well. So, you can see how competition and choice were already on a death spiral before the AP analysis. Recently, Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said that this law was unaffordable. Now, there’s no choice either. The fall back Democrats try to harp on is the amount of those insured through Obamacare, which has reduced the umber of uninsured in the country overalls. Fine, but that main pitch of Obamacare was that it would reduce costs, which was a way for the Obama White House to put pressure on Congress to pass it, along with the notion that the GOP plan was lacking (though their reforms existed in bits and pieces over the past ten years). Still, as premiums go up, more Americans are paying the penalty to be uninsured because it’s more economical. That penalty is set to spike next year, so once again we have American families being squeezed by government on both ends. You get screwed remaining insured (due to the premium shock) or becoming uninsured (due to the penalty). Yet, the government got involved so this was predictable. Oh, and the Democrats’ solution is more government. And if you think a Clinton presidency will fix this, you’re on something stronger than heroin.