Late on Tuesday, Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurer, announced that it will stop offering policies on Ohio’s insurance marketplace.
The number of affected people is relatively small (according to the New York Times, the decisions means around 10,500 people will be left without a health insurance carrier.) But it underscores healthcare’s uncertain future. Republican’s are using the departure as evidence that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is crumbling, while Anthem cited “continual changes in federal operations, rules and guidance” as one of the central reasons it is pulling out of the state. The Trump administration has threatened to cut off deductible and co-pay subsidies that are designed to help poor Americans afford out-of-pocket medical costs.
President Trump was quick to respond to the news, tweeting:
The president is traveling to Cincinnati today, where he was will speak at 1 p.m. ET. The talk was scheduled to be about infrastructure, but judging from Trump’s tweet, it will now also address health care. The Senate, which is currently working on a plan to repeal and replace the ACA, could vote on a health care bill as early as July 4.
In the meantime, uncertainty around whether the administration will eliminate the individual mandate and cut off subsidies that help the poorest Obamacare participants pay for coverage has already sent premiums soaring in some states.