There Will Be Zero Counties Without Obamacare Insurers in 2018

While Kevin’s on vacation, we’ve invited other Mother Jones writers to contribute posts.

As Republicans have tried to rip apart Obamacare this year, one of their most frequent rhetorical strategies has been highlighting areas of the country where there might be zero insurance plans sold on the insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. 

That threat was mostly overhyped. In various counties around the country, after insurance companies pulled out, other insurers quickly stepped in to fill the void. But last week an insurance company suddenly pulled out of Virginia, leaving 48 counties and 73,000 Obamacare participants without out an insurance option. That would have been a big deal! And unlike past insurance company announcements, this one came late in the process, leaving the state little time to correct the problem before 2018 open enrollment starts in November.

But those fears proved misplaced. Virginia’s governor announced Friday that Anthem—which earlier this year announced it would pull out of Virginia—would step back in and fill the state’s gaps.

White House officials have regularly trumpeted news reports about insurance companies pulling out of markets. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the White House to celebrate the latest news that there will be no bare counties next year.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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