Where's the Affordable In the Affordable Care Act?
According to a recent New York Times article evidence is mounting that one of Obamacare’s loftiest goals - to encourage insurer competition in order to keep insurance costs low - is falling far short for many trying to enlist in the program, especially for those living rural areas. The Times reports this is due largely in part to the fact that rural areas have far less insurance carriers participating in the online Obamacare insurance exchanges, making the competition factor for driving down premium costs a moot point. According to the Times analysis of county-level data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, of the nearly 2,500 counties served by the federal exchanges 58% have plans offered by just one or two insurance carriers, and in roughly 530 of those counties only a single insurer is participating. Many urbanites opinions on this lean towards “so the prices of insurance are more expensive in rural areas than urban areas - at least now uninsured people will get insurance.” But if they went without insurance because they couldn’t afford it, how will making high cost insurance mandatory help their plight? Eight percent less of a near poverty level income can mean the difference between going to bed hungry or not.