August 17, 2016

Ann Kirkpatrick’s ‘Proud’ Vote Leaves Thousands of Arizonans With Zero Health Insurance Options

Ann Kirkpatrick has called ObamaCare the vote that she was “most proud about,” but the disastrous roll-out of the program has left some of her constituents in the Phoenix area without any options for coverage in the coming year. As The Wall Street Journal reported:

“Stephen Briggs, a spokesman for Arizona’s state insurance regulator, said the state currently has no insurers that have filed to offer exchange plans in Pinal, a county in the Phoenix area. ‘It’s a concern for us,’ he said.”

The problem comes in the wake of a massive announcement that Aetna, Inc., a large national insurer, would stop selling individual plans through Arizona’s insurance exchanges:

Aetna’s move will sharpen concerns about competitive options in the exchanges—and it puts at least one county, Pinal in Arizona, at risk of having no insurers offering exchange plans in 2017, a circumstance that would present a major challenge to the basic mechanics of the ACA. The law mandates that most people acquire health coverage, and offers subsidies to help lower-income consumers purchase plans. To obtain the subsidies, though, people are supposed to purchase their plans through ACA exchanges.

Aetna is one of seven insurance providers that announced plans to cancel coverage for Arizonans citing “business and regulatory uncertainties” that have “significantly impacted” their ability to operate- leaving thousands more scrambling to find new plans:

· Health Choice Insurance: Arizona insurer exits roil Affordable Care Act marketplace

· Blue Cross Blue Shield & Health Net: Blue Cross, Health Net drop Affordable Care Act marketplace plans

· UnitedHealthcare: One of Arizona’s largest health-care insurers to exit marketplace; second could follow

· Humana: Obamacare insurers dwindle as Humana, UnitedHealthcare exit Arizona

· Meritus Health Partners: Health insurance co-op order means 59,000 in Arizona must find new coverage

Despite the evidence that ObamaCare’s co-ops and exchanges have failed to live up to expectations, Kirkpatrick continues to toe the party line on ObamaCare after saying the plan was “good for her district.” Kirkpatrick has repeatedly voted to block measures that would roll back the onerous provisions of the failed policy, and potentially could have preserved vital coverage for her constituents.