Obamacare has a competition problem: A preview of the death spiral of a failed experiment ?


  • Seven states (Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina, Alaska, and North Carolina) have only one insurance company to choose from starting in 2017.
  • Five other states have at least 50% of their “ratings regions” with only one private insurance company offering service plans.  This means that nearly one quarter of all U.S. counties will have only one or two plans to choose from next year.  Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that “664 counties will feature only a single insurer on Obamacare exchanges in 2017.”
  • While much of the recent focus has been on the massive exodus of health insurance companies like Aetna and UnitedHealth leaving the state insurance exchanges, according to the Wall Street Journal, “[M]ore than 40 other companies are also fleeing ObamaCare.”
  • UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurer, posted losses totaling nearly $1 billion in 2015. Aetna lost more than $430 million since January 2014.  These shortfalls are, according to The Federalist Society blog, “hidden taxes collected by insurers and paid for by consumers.
  • President Obama promised that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."  PolitiFact rated this the "Lie of the Year" in 2013, as millions of Americans saw their health care plans cancelled because of ObamaCare.

All of these numbers matter.   And what really matters is what Congress will do next year to “fix” this mess.  The WSJ summed up the problem like this:  “Democrats figure they have insurers over a barrel because a Hillary Clinton Presidency is coming.  She’s running on higher subsidies for beneficiaries, a taxpayer bailout for the industry, and a ‘public option’ akin to Medicare for the middle class.  In health care the solution to a problem caused by government is always more government, which will create new problems and beget more government.” 

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