Speed Reads

ObamaCare lives

Ohio, insurers restore ObamaCare coverage for 19 of 20 counties, leaving 19 U.S. counties without plans

The Republican aspirations to repeal the Affordable Care Act appear to be dead for the time being, although they aren't officially defunct. On Monday, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced that five Ohio insurance companies have agreed to offer plans on the ObamaCare exchanges in 19 of 20 counties without any plans. Ohio is working to restore an insurance option for the 20th one, Paulding County, "before insurers must enter contracts with the federal government in late September," the state insurance department said. With those 19 Ohio counties back on the exchange, only 19 counties in the U.S. — in Ohio, Nevada, and Indiana — and 12,076 people have no ACA insurance options, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the Senate narrowly voted down the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA. "With the threat of legislative repeal buried, insurer participation is likely to stabilize," Jonathan Chait writes at New York. "President Trump claims that ObamaCare is 'dead' and 'gone,' and has ramped up his angry threats to sabotage the exchanges. But insurers have come to a different conclusion: The president's bluster will blow over, and ObamaCare will remain." Well, never say never. But 0.1 percent of ACA exchange enrollees at risk of having no plan seems like an easier problem to solve than rewriting the entire U.S. health-care system.