When the president says we should let Obamacare fail, what he’s talking about are the exchanges that provide health insurance for this nation's working poor.
According to a report released Friday by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, those exchanges provide insurance for roughly 7 percent of the U.S. population.
Most of the rest of us get our insurance through Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance provided by employers
Even before the Affordable Care Act came along, the report says, many counties had limited choices for individuals seeking to buy health insurance on the private market. For this year, about a third of all counties had only one option for health insurance, and for the enrollment period that begins in November, many counties won’t have even that. They’ll have no companies participating in the exchanges.
That number includes four counties in Indiana – Decatur, Grant, Jackson and Wayne.
I sent an email to Jenifer Groth, director of communication and outreach for the Indiana Department of Insurance, asking about the outlook for those in need of insurance through the exchanges in those counties. She was succinct in her reply.
“The State is working to find the best course of action for those counties,” she wrote.
I asked if I might interview someone involved in that effort, and Groth declined.
“We will not speculate on what may or may not happen in the future,” she wrote.
The foundation’s report holds out hope that negotiations like those underway in Indiana will ultimately result in other insurers stepping in to fill the void left by companies pulling out of the exchanges. If that doesn’t happen, though, the report says the outlook is clear: People buying their own insurance in those counties will not be able to get subsidies and will thus have to pay full price for their policies.
The report insists that Obamacare is not on the verge of collapse.
“Rather, insurers are on track to be profitable and the market appears to be stabilizing in the country overall,” the report says.