How’s Obamacare Working Out?
President Barack Obama offered this justification for the structure of his Obamacare:
My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works. Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75% of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90% is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down.
How’s he doing by his own standard?
- In 2015, 89% of total US counties will have five or fewer companies selling coverage in the exchanges. In 2014, 94% of counties had five or fewer insurers on the exchange.
- In 2015, the exchange market in 57% of US counties will feature competition among three or fewer insurers. In 2014, 78% of all counties had three or fewer insurers.
- In Texas, 62% of the state’s counties have only one or two insurers offering coverage in the exchange in 2015. There are 14 different insurers selling policies on the Texas exchange, but no Texas county has more than nine carriers offering coverage.
- West Virginia still has only one insurer offering coverage on the exchange in 2015. Thus, any state resident purchasing coverage on the ACA’s exchange has no choice of insurer.
A tiny bit of improvement over last year, except in West Virginia, where 100% is controlled by just one company.
By another measure, this one the GAO’s, as reported at the link above,
…in 2013 the individual insurance market encompassed 1,232 insurance carriers selling full health coverage. Obamacare exchanges support just 310 insurance companies as of 2015.
Lastly, this is the trend according to the GAO since Obamacare became law; some of the data predate ObamaMart’s activation: