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The Weight Of Obamacare On Red-State Dems’ Shoulders

- May 9, 2017

Senate Democrats Who Represent States That President Trump Won Have To Explain The Devastating Impacts Of Obamacare To Their Constituents


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Obamacare has crippled competition leaving many Americans with fewer healthcare options to meet their needs.
  • In 2017, many states announced double-digit increases in premium costs, making the "Affordable Care Act" even more unaffordable.
  • In a destabilized market, with less choice and higher costs, Obamacare has largely failed to offer accessible and affordable healthcare for the American people.

In 2017, Many States Lost A Significant Number Of Insurers, Leaving Some Counties With Only One Healthcare Provider

The Number Of Insurers In Missouri Declined By 3, From 7 In 2016 To 4 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • Obamacare Insurers Withdrawing From Missouri "Has Significant Consequences When It Comes To Competition" And "[Raises] New Questions About The Strength Of The Exchanges." "The shake-up has significant consequences when it comes to competition across the country and particularly in Missouri, raising new questions about the strength of the exchanges - also called marketplaces - and needed fixes the industry wants to see to make them more profitable." (Samantha Liss, "A Broader Loos At Missouri's Insurance Exchange And What Aetna's Exit Means," St. Louis Post-Dispatch , 8/20/16)
  • Health Policy Experts Said That The Departures That Resulted In A Majority Of Missouri's Counties Having Only One Health Provider "Illustrates A Weakness Of The Federal Government's Position" In Continuing To Promote Obamacare. "Health policy experts still believe the marketplaces are viable but they are concerned about the effect of the departures, particularly in Missouri counties that now have one carrier. They say Aetna's move illustrates a weakness of the federal government's position." (Samantha Liss, "A Broader Loos At Missouri's Insurance Exchange And What Aetna's Exit Means," St. Louis Post-Dispatch , 8/20/16)

The Number Of Insurers In Florida Declined By 3, From 10 In 2016 To 7 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • The Sun-Sentinel : Florida Consumers Have To Choose Among Smaller Insurers With Narrow Provider Networks. "Large insurers are pulling out of many markets throughout the U.S. - including South Florida, the nation's largest Obamacare market - leaving consumers to choose among smaller insurers with so-called narrow provider networks." (Ron Hurtibise, "Obamacare Choices Shrinking In South Florida But Experts Say That Might Not Be Bad," The Sun-Sentinel , 8/19/16)

"Several Insurers, Including UnitedHealthcare And Humana" No Longer Sell Obamacare Insurance In Wisconsin. "Several insurers, including UnitedHealthcare and Humana, are no longer selling health insurance directly to individuals in Wisconsin, though UnitedHealthcare is allowing people to continue renewing certain plans." (Guy Boulton, "Rates For Obamacare Plans Jump In Wisconsin," The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , 10/31/16)

  • The Milwaukee Business Journal : The Number Of Insurers On The Marketplace In Milwaukee County Is Down To Four. "In Milwaukee County, four insurers are selling through the Obamacare exchange for 2017 compared with six in 2016." (Rich Kirchen, "Wisconsin Obamacare Rates To Increase By Average Of 16% In 2017; Deductibles Rising," The Milwaukee Business Journal , 10/25/16)

The Number Of Insurers In Pennsylvania Declined By 5, From 13 In 2016 To 8 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • The Inquirer Headline: "Obamacare Signups Begin, With Fewer Choices And Higher Prices." (Don Sapatkin, "Obamacare Signups Begin, With Fewer Choices And Higher Prices," The Inquirer , 10/31/16)

The Number Of Insurers In Michigan Declined By 4, From 14 In 2016 To 10 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • This Left Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan As The Only Insurer Available To Serve PPO Plans To The 341,000 People In Michigan Who Purchased Subsidized Obamacare Insurance Plans. "That means Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan would be the only one left with PPO plans offered to serve 341,000 people who purchase subsidized insurance on the Obamacare marketplace." (Jay Greene, "Priority Health, HAP To Withdraw PPO Plans From Michigan Insurance Exchange," Crain's Detroit Business , 8/24/16)
  • Upper Michigan Has Only One Insurer For 2017. "[In 2017] Upper Michigan, however, has just one (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan). Humana is exiting the individual market entirely at the end of 2017, nationwide, which means their plans will not be available in the Michigan exchange when open enrollment begins again on November 1, 2017. In 2017, Humana's coverage area includes most of southeast Michigan, as well as Kalamazoo County and Kent County." (Louise Norris, "Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace: History And News Of The State's Exchange," Healthinsurance.org , 4/23/17)

The Number Of Insurers In Indiana Declined By 5, From 16 In 2016 To 11 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • The Indianapolis Business Journal Headline: "Hoosiers Face Higher Premiums, Fewer Choices For Obamacare Coverage ." (John Russell, "Hoosiers Face Higher Premiums, Fewer Choices For Obamacare Coverage," The Indianapolis Business Journal , 10/25/16)

The Number Of Insurers In Ohio Declined By 5, From 16 In 2016 To 11 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • 19 Ohio Counties Will Only Have One Insurer In The Marketplace And 28 Will Only Have Two Insurers In The Marketplace. "While all 88 Ohio counties currently have four or more insurance companies offering plans through Obamacare, in 2017 19 counties are expected to have just one insurer, and 28 counties will drop to two insurers amid a rash of insurer exits, the Ohio Department of Insurance said." (Adrian Burns, "Obamacare Options To Shrink For Many In Ohio," USA Today , 9/4/16)
  • Ohio Is Experiencing The Influx Of Changes From Obamacare As "On Average, Ohioans On The Marketplace Will Have 36 Fewer Plans To Choose From In 2017" "On average, Ohioans on the marketplace will have 36 fewer plans to choose from in 2017, while Michigan residents will have on average 25 fewer plans." (Lauren Lindstrom, "Obamacare Costs Rise Less In Ohio Than Many States," The Blade , 10/30/16)

In West Virginia "82 Percent Of Counties Have Only A Single Exchange-Plan Provider" Which Allows The States To Hike Premiums. "In West Virginia, for instance, 82 percent of counties have only a single exchange-plan provider. With so little competition, it's no surprise that insurers are hiking premiums. Next year, rates for individual exchange plans are expected to rise by nearly 37 percent." (Sally C. Pipes, "Rejecting Obamacare's Perverse Ultimatum," The Hill , 10/3/16)

  • "Obamacare Does Not Guarantee That People Are Going To Be Able To Get Insurance" A Fact That West Virginian People Face In The Age Of The Decline Of Health Insurance Providers. "The state Insurance Commission reports that CareSource is expanding its footprint in West Virginia and that will provide a few more options, but our state is not a desirable market. Our population is older and less healthy than the national average. Obamacare does not guarantee that people are going to be able to get insurance. But as this new round premium increases show, it's not going to be cheap." (Hoppy Kercheval, "Obamacare Premiums Spike In West Virginia," Metro News , 10/26/16)

North Dakota Enters And Exists In The Obamacare Exchange With Only 3 Carriers, All Of Which Have Increased The Cost Of Their Plans. "There are three carriers that offer plans in the North Dakota exchange. Their average rate increases for 2017 were all smaller than the carriers had proposed: BCBS of ND: a 1.57 percent decrease (the carrier had proposed a 1.82 percent rate increase). Medica: 14.3 percent increase (the carrier had proposed a 16.9 percent rate increase) Sanford: 7.85 percent increase (the carrier had proposed a 10.7 percent rate increase)" (Louise Norris, "North Dakota Health Insurance Marketplace: History And News Of The State's Exchange," Healthinsurance.org , 3/30/17)

The Number Of Insurers In Montana Declined By 3, From 7 In 2016 To 4 In 2017. ("Health Plan Choice And Premiums In The 2017 Health Insurance Marketplace," Department Of Health And Human Services , 10/24/16)

  • Now Down To Only 3 Insurance Providers, Health Care Providers Call Their Increases In Insurance Plans As A Part Of Encouraging"…True Competitive Market Here In Montana…" "However, he also summed up sentiments from all three providers in saying they were committed to providing insurance to Montanans through the marketplace. 'It's important to us that we have a true competitive market here in Montana, and one that also has some bit of rational approach to it,' he said. ' ... We can't really continue to sustain the losses that we've had in the individual market.'" (Casey Page, "Providers: Proposed Montana Health Insurance Price Hikes Are A Result Of Rising Medical Costs," Billings Gazette , 8/3/16)

Many States Have Forced Individuals To Absorb Double-Digit Premium Increases To Keep Their Healthcare Plans Or Be Forced Back On The Exchange In 2017

In Pennsylvania, Premiums For Individuals On Obamacare "Will Rise By An Average Of 33 Percent" In 2017. "Premiums for Pennsylvanians who buy individual coverage from the Obamacare online marketplace will rise by an average of 33 percent, according to 2017 rates just approved by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department." (David Wenner, "Obamacare Premiums Take Big Jump In Pa," Pennlive , 10/18/16)

  • Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller Said The Rate Hike, "Makes It Clear That Washington Needs To Move Swiftly To Address Consumer Needs" Under Obamacare . "However, these rate increases make it clear that Washington needs to move swiftly to address consumer needs under the Affordable Care Act." (David Wenner, "Obamacare Premiums Take Big Jump In Pa," Pennlive , 10/18/16)

In 2017, Premiums Were Expected To Increase By 19 Percent On Average In Florida . "Floridians who buy their own health insurance in 2017 are likely to see their premiums rise by an average of 19 percent over the current year, according to an analysis released Friday by the state's Office of Insurance Regulation." (Daniel Chang, "Florida's Obamacare Premiums To Rise Average 19 Percent In 2017, State Says," Miami Herald , 9/02/16)

  • Humana Was Expected To Increase Rates By An Average Of 26.9 Percent In Florida. "The averages ranged from a low of 11.7 percent for Health First to a high of 36.8 percent for Humana." (Daniel Chang, "Florida's Obamacare Premiums To Rise Average 19 Percent In 2017, State Says," Miami Herald , 9/02/16)

In Indiana, 68,000 People Will Need To Find A New Plan, And "The Cost Of Other Plans Will Rise By An Average Of 18.7%" In 2017. "There's a catch, though. Four insurers left the Indiana exchange for 2017, leaving 68,000 people to shop for a new plan. In addition, the cost of other plans will rise by an average of 18.7 percent, according to state figures. That leaves many people with an unsavory choice: Pay a higher premium or select a new plan to save money." (James Briggs and Shari Rudavsky, "Some Obamacare Premiums Drop In Indiana, But There's A Catch," Indy Star, 11/4/16)

  • Stephen W. Robertson, Commissioner Of Indiana Department Of Insurance: "'The Health Insurance Rates In The Indiana Marketplace Are Going To Increase. In Fact, Many Hoosiers Will See A Double Digit Increase In Rates. The Way The Reporter Characterized The Rate Change Misleads Hoosiers.'" (Press Release, "Indiana Department Of Insurance Corrects Misleading Media Report Regarding Obamacare Premiums In Indiana," Indiana Department Of Insurance , 10/26/16)

Plans Registered On Michigan's Marketplace Have Experienced Rate Increases Of 16.7 Percent On Average . "The sticker price for individual health plans sold on Michigan's Affordable Care Act exchange will jump 16.7% next year under new rates announced Monday by state officials." (JC Reindl, "Obamacare Rates To Jump 16.7% In Michigan Despite State Scrutiny," Detroit Free Press , 10/17/16)

  • This Spike In Cost Affect About "393,322 Michiganders Who Currently Buy Individual Health Insurance On Or Off The Government-Run Exchange." "The double-digit increases will mean a financial hit for taxpayers in general, as well as some of the 393,322 Michiganders who currently buy individual health insurance on or off the government-run exchange." (JC Reindl, "Obamacare Rates To Jump 16.7% In Michigan Despite State Scrutiny," Detroit Free Press , 10/17/16)
  • One Insurer Increased Premiums By 39.2 Percent Among A Large Range Of Rate Hikes By Insurers In Michigan. "The following average rate increases were approved for the carriers that are offering individual coverage through the Michigan exchange for 2017: Blue Care Network: 14.8 percent, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: 18.7 percent (BCBSMI is the only carrier offering PPO plans in the exchange for 2017), Health Alliance Plan: 16.8 percent, Humana: 39.2 percent, McLaren Health Plan: 12.2 percent, Meridian: 9.3 percent, Molina: 3.2 percent, Physicians Health Plan: 6.7 percent, Priority Health (HMO and POS): 13.9 percent, Total Health Care USA: 7.2 percent requested increase." (Louise Norris, "Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace: History And News Of The State's Exchange," Healthinsurance.org , 4/23/17)

Participants In The Ohio Exchange Will Experience "Premium Increases Of 12.6% Or Higher In 2017." "Ohioans insured through the Affordable Care Act will have fewer providers to choose from next year and will pay more for coverage. People insured through the federal exchange in Ohio will see premiums increases of 12.6 percent or higher in 2017 than they paid this year, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance." (Lucas Sullivan, "Despite Increases, Feds Say Obamacare Remains Affordable For Ohio Enrollees," The Columbus Dispatch , 8/24/16)

In Missouri, All Insurers Will Increase Premiums, With The Largest Increase Of 34.9 Percent From One Insurer. (Andy Alcock, "Obamacare Costs Up, Choices Down In Missouri And Kansas," KSBH Kansas City , 11/01/16)

  • In 2017, In Rural Parts Of Missouri, Residents "Will Find Themselves Spending About 50 Percent More Than Urban Residents For The Same Plan Level And Services." "In 2017, many rural Missourians will find themselves spending about 50% more than urban residents for the same plan level and services. In many regions of the state, plans available to city dwellers aren't available at all to those living in what is often called 'out-state' Missouri." (Patrick Ishmael, Op-Ed, "Rural Missourians Whacked With Higher Obamacare Rates, Fewer Options," Forbes , 10/31/16)

In Wisconsin, Premium Rates Were Expected To Increase As Much As 36 Percent in 2017, With All But Three Insurances Companies Increasing Rates By Double Digits. "Affordable Care Act rates in Wisconsin could increase anywhere from 5 to 36 percent in 2017, with all but three insurance companies planning increases that top 10 percent, according to rate requests posted this week by federal officials." (Shamane Mills, "Affordable Care Act Rates In Wisconsin Could Increase By Double Digits," Wisconsin Public Radio , 8/02/16)

  • Higher Costs Are Lessening The Chance More People Will Join The Exchange, Which Is "Essential To The Long-Term Stability Of The Market For Insurance Sold" To Individuals And Families . "The higher costs are almost certain to lessen the chance of pulling more people - particularly those who are young and healthy - into the market. That is considered essential to the long-term stability of the market for insurance sold directly to individuals and families, as opposed to those who get insurance through an employer." (Guy Boulton, "Rates For Obamacare Plans Jump In Wisconsin," Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel , 10/31/16)

In West Virginia, Average Monthly Premiums In The Exchange Will Rise By 32 Percent In 2017. Obamacare is turning out to be an expensive proposition in West Virginia. New figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services show that the average monthly premium for customers in the exchange will rise by 32 percent next year [2017], from $294 to $386 a month. (The figure is based on the second-lowest cost plan-the Silver Plan-for a 27-year-old and before tax credits.) (Hoppy Kercheval, "Obamacare Premiums Spike In West Virginia," WV Metro News , 10/26/16)

  • Obamacare Continues To Wreak Havoc On The State Because "West Virginia's Average Rate Increases Were Higher Than The National Average." West Virginia's average rates were already among the highest in the country, and although average rate increases for 2017 were substantial all across the country, West Virginia's average rate increases were higher than the national average. (Louise Norris, "West Virginia Health Insurance Marketplace: History And News Of The State's Exchange," Healthinsurance.org , 2/14/17)

In North Dakota, Premiums For Benchmark Plans Will Increase By 7 Percent In 2017. "That agency said premiums for benchmark plans purchased on the individual marketplace in North Dakota will increase by 7 percent, on average, in 2017." (John Hageman, "Obamacare Premiums Set To Increase In N.D." Bismarck Tribune , 10/25/16)

  • North Dakota's Premiums Rose Because Insurers "Misjudged The Nature Of The Market In Terms Of How Many People Are Going To Enroll And How Sick They Were Going To Be." " Earlier this week the U.S. Health and Human Services Department admitted that a price increase will be coming across the country. The news of a price increase hasn't come as a shock to ND State Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm. 'Prices are going to keep going up, and the choices folks have of where to buy insurance is going to keep going down,' says Hamm. Mike Fierberg with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department says the reason we're seeing the increase is because of how insurance companies priced its products when first entering the market. 'They misjudged the nature of the market in terms of how many people are going to enroll and how sick they were going to be. Meaning how high the volume of claims was going to be,' says Fierberg." (Anthony Humes, "Obamacare Rates In ND To Increase 4 to 5%, Low Compared To Most States" West Dakota Fox 10/28/16)

"About 35,000 Montanans Could See Huge Increases - Some Up To 60 Percent Or More - In What They Pay For Health Insurance Purchased On The Federal Marketplace [In 2017]." (Holly Michels, "Some May See Big Increase In Obamacare Insurance Costs, But Tax Credit Will Offset Price Jump For Most," Independent Record , 07/10/16)

  • "For Individual Plans, Blue Cross Had The Highest Requested Rate Change At An Average Of 62 Percent, Taking Effect At The Start Of 2017." (Holly Michels, "Some May See Big Increase In Obamacare Insurance Costs, But Tax Credit Will Offset Price Jump For Most," Independent Record , 07/10/16)

Nationwide, Obamacare, With Its High Premiums And Narrow Provider Networks, Has "Failed"

President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, And Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Are Among Democrats Who Have Acknowledged The Problems With Obamacare. "Former President Bill Clinton said recently that people who are ineligible to get subsidies to buy Obamacare insurance are 'getting killed.' Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said this month that 'the reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.' Even President Obama said in a speech last week that 'there are going to be people who are hurt by premium increases.'" (Peter Sullivan, "Obamacare Hikes Leave Dems Exposed," The Hill , 10/25/16)

  • Obama Administration Officials Said That They Wished "Insurers Had Set Their Premiums Higher And More Accurately To Begin With, So They Wouldn't Have To Hike Them So Much" After The Fact. "But now, administration officials say they wish insurers had set their premiums higher and more accurately to begin with, so they wouldn't have to hike them so much now." (Peter Sullivan, "Obamacare Hikes Leave Dems Exposed," The Hill , 10/25/16)

According To Healthcare.gov, Individuals Pay "Whichever Is Higher" Between 2.5 Percent Of Household Income Or The National Average Price Of A Bronze Plan. "The fee is calculated 2 different ways - as a percentage of your household income, and per person. You'll pay whichever is higher. Percentage of income 2.5% of household income Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace Per person $695 per adult $347.50 per child under 18 Maximum: $2,085" ("If You Don't Have Health Insurance: How Much You'll Pay," Healthcare.gov , Accessed 3/13/17)

  • In 2016 And 2017, The Individual Mandate Costs $695 Per Adult Or $347.50 Per Child, Up To $2,085 Per Family. "The fee is calculated 2 different ways - as a percentage of your household income, and per person. You'll pay whichever is higher. Percentage of income 2.5% of household income Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace per person $695 per adult $347.50 per child under 18 Maximum: $2,085" ("If You Don't Have Health Insurance: How Much You'll Pay," Healthcare.gov , Accessed 3/13/17)

Chicago Tribune's Editorial Board Said Obamacare Failed By Straitjacketing Insurers Into Providing "Overly Expensive" Policies Without As Much Coverage As People Wanted And Could Afford. "Obamacare failed because it flunked Economics 101 and Human Nature 101. It straitjacketed insurers into providing overly expensive, soup-to-nuts policies. It wasn't flexible enough so that people could buy as much coverage as they wanted and could afford - not what the government dictated." (Editorial Board, "Why Obamacare Failed," The Chicago Tribune , 9/09/16)

"Obamacare's Individual Mandate Is Failing To Stabilize The Health Insurance Marketplace." (Sara Hansard, "Obamacare Mandate Failing To Stabilize Health Insurance Marketplace," Bloomberg , 1/25/17)

  • Obamacare Coverage Was So Expensive In 2015 That About 19.2 Million People Either Paid The Penalty For Not Enrolling Or Sought An Exemption From It. "But insurance on the ACA exchanges is so expensive that in 2015 about 19.2 million people either paid the penalty or sought an exemption from it, compared with 7.3 million people who got subsidies to buy exchange plans, according to testimony at the hearing." (Sara Hansard, "Obamacare Mandate Failing To Stabilize Health Insurance Marketplace," Bloomberg , 1/25/17)

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