Obamacare Didn’t Destroy Insurance Markets, but It Also Didn’t Fix Them

Most Americans get health insurance from a job or government program, but about 8 percent, or some 22 million people, now buy individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. Insurers began offering these plans in 2014.

Republican lawmakers and President Trump have criticized Obamacare, saying it took away people’s ability to choose their health plans and doctors, pointing to a recent exodus of insurers that could leave areas with a single insurer or none at all. Mr. Trump has insisted the markets are failing.


And the markets took another hit on Tuesday when Anthem, one of the nation’s largest insurers, pulled out of Ohio, leaving about 20 counties with no Obamacare carrier.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act hoped the law would spur more competition among insurers across the country.

But so far, the law has not delivered on that promise, especially in states that never had much competition, but it didn’t create the lack of choice in those states, according to a Times analysis of insurer participation provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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