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A Bad Day for Obamacare: NH Rate Hikes, and Idaho Loses an Insurer

Lost in the flurry of news this week: Obamacare continues to struggle. New Hampshire customers may see rate hikes of 44 percent, and Idaho lost an Obamacare insurer.

The Affordable Care Act

With stories about Russia, the budget, and President Trump’s first foreign trip this week, some storylines are getting lost in the mix. One of those storylines? Obamacare continues to struggle in 2017.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reported over the weekend that Obamacare exchange customers in the Granite State may see rate hikes as high as 44 percent in 2018:

Some Obamacare exchange premiums could increase an average of 44 percent next year in New Hampshire due in large part to Medicaid expansion and the opioid and mental health crises, according to a document obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The document – stamped “Confidential” and marked “Draft Only” and “not for distribution” – hints that New Hampshire soon could be hit with health-care premium increases it has not experienced since Obamacare coverage started in January 2014.

Meanwhile, across the country in Idaho, insurer BridgeSpan is planning to leave Obamacare exchanges in the Gem State:

The insurer will sell off-exchange plans next year and noted that the switch was not only a cost-control measure, but “is also a result of uncertainty and instability for the exchanges,” according to reporting by Louise Norris, a contributor to the site. Last year, five insurers participated in the exchange, which is run by the state.

Politico noted on Monday that the future of Obamacare exchanges is in doubt after the Trump administration requested a 90-day delay in the House of Representative’s lawsuit over federal subsidies.

Democrats have accused the Trump administration of attempting to sabotage Obamacare, while Republicans continue to blame bad headlines on fundamental flaws with the 2010 health care law.