Our friends over at The Heritage Foundation have released some new numbers about the latest Obamacare calamity: its destruction of competitive insurance markets.
In 2009, President Obama said:
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 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down.”
Unfortunately, as Heritage expert Alyene Senger explains, Obamacare did absolutely nothing to fix this problem:
In the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state.”
More from Heritage:
That’s right—unsurprisingly, Obamacare made another problem worse. In Alabama—the state the President mentioned with concern in 2009—about 96 percent of that state’s counties will have only one insurer offering coverage in the exchange. This means the residents in those counties will have no choice of insurer in the exchange.”
Senger also found that in more than half of the counties in the U.S., people have only one or two insurance carriers offering coverage on their exchanges.
In Arkansas, just 39% of residents will be able to choose from three providers. The rest of the state will have only two choices.
Obamacare’s disastrous impact on insurance markets is not confined to reduction in choices for consumers — in addition, its weakening of competitive forces also reduces the pressure on providers to keep prices low. In three words: pricier health insurance.
I guess we can add the lack of increased competition to the ever-growing list of “broken Obamacare promises.”