Speed Reads

health-care battle

Trump finds common ground with The New York Times on ObamaCare's shrinking marketplace

President Trump finally found common ground with the "failing" New York Times on Saturday. The topic: ObamaCare.

Trump was referencing a Times piece published Friday night that addressed the growing problem of insurance markets in which just one — or, soon, zero — insurers operate:

[Insurer] Anthem, which operates in 14 states, is getting nervous, an industry analyst told Bloomberg News this week. Its departure would be a much bigger problem. According to an analysis of government data by Katherine Hempstead at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Anthem is currently the only insurance carrier in nearly 300 counties, serving about a quarter of a million people.

[...A]n Anthem departure could leave coverage gaps in substantial parts of Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, and Colorado, as well as smaller holes in other states. In places where no insurance company offers plans, there will be no way for ObamaCare customers to use subsidies to buy health plans.

Without an option for affordable coverage, they would become exempt from the health law’s mandate to obtain coverage. A result could be large increases in the number of Americans without health insurance. [The New York Times]

As the Times and Trump have noted, this is a serious concern: All the subsidies in the world don't do any good if no insurance is for sale in your county. For an in-depth look at the problem, see The Week's breakdown of ObamaCare's woes.