There has been a lot of talk about the national effect of repealing Obamacare's mandate for health insurance and purchases, which the president wants, and which is currently part of the Senate's tax reduction bill. A revised estimate from the Congressional Budget Office suggests that up to 13 million people could lose health insurance for ten years, with individual premiums rising about 10 percent per year. A price that the Senate Republicans seem willing to pay in exchange for the symbolic attack on Obamacare and $ 338 billion to devote to tax cuts for businesses and the rich.
We now have a new badysis from Los Angeles Times on how the repeal of the mandate could affect specific parts of the country. And it's bad news for the rural population of Trump Country.
There are 454 counties across the country with only one health insurer on the market in 2018 and where the cheapest plan available to a 40-year consumer costs at least $ 500 per month. Markets in these places run the risk of collapsing if Congress eliminates the individual insurance mandate.
These areas are at risk because revoking the mandate – a significant incentive for younger and healthy people – could make the mix of participants in risk groups for Obamacare too old and too sick to be sustainable at affordable prices, which leads insurers to abandon them.
Eighty-six percent of these 454 counties at risk have fewer than 50,000 residents, according to census data. Health care costs are often higher in rural areas, as there are fewer medical providers and populations tend to be older and sicker.
These counties also overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump last year, with 9 out of 10 endorsing the Republican presidential nomination, according to election data.
In addition to Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming, the counties are clustered in southwestern Arizona, western Colorado, southern Mississippi, central North Carolina and parts of Georgia, Virginia and W.V. .
Senate Republicans in these states are unlikely to be surprised at the prospect of tormenting their constituents through much higher premiums or the total collapse of the Obamacare markets. After all, most of them voted again and again earlier this year to annoy Americans of the white working clbad of the red state by slashing Medicaid as part of their various Obamacare rejection and replacement bills. . And the psychic value of taking a look at Obamacare on a tax bill – like a second dessert portion after a Thanksgiving party – is almost literally invaluable to conservative ideologues.
Many of the people affected by this measure probably do not like the idea of being told they have to buy health insurance. But they will like less to have real access to health insurance.