PolitiFact Wisconsin: Duffy's claims on healthcare coverage

Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 19:42:09-04

It's one of the more persistent talking points when it comes to Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act but is it accurate?

For years Republicans have claimed the ACA, better known as Obamacare, is failing.

As evidence, Republicans like U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy point to reduced options available on the exchanges for people buying their own health insurance.  

"Congressman Duffy says that half, almost half of counties in America have either one insurer or no insurers on those exchanges," said Tom Kertscher with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PolitiFact Wisconsin reports markets with fewer insurers have been linked to fewer affordable choices for health insurance and higher prices. But Duffy's numbers appear off for this year.

"Currently there are about one-third of the counties in America that have only one insurer on those Obamacare exchanges," Kertscher said. "None of the counties at this point have no insurers."

But that may change. PolitiFact Wisconsin says Duffy's numbers may have been a bit ahead of their time.

"The element of truth in Duffy's statement is that there are currently projections for 2018 that nearly half of the counties in America might have only one insurer or no insurers on the Obamacare exchanges next year," Kertscher said.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Duffy's claim Mostly False.

One other note from PolitiFact Wisconsin, counties with one provider or no provider next year are concentrated in rural areas.

So, even though one-third of counties currently have only one insurer, only about one in every five people who buy that insurance is affected.