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(Neb)-Aetna To Pull Out Of Individual Health Care In Neb

By: John Axtell Posted at: 05/11/2017 11:56 PM
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -  Nebraskans who need individual health insurance next year may have only one choice.  Aetna Health says it will withdraw from individual health plan markets under the Affordable Care Act in Nebraska and 3 other states next year after pulling out of 11 states this year.

       Aetna said it expects to lose more than $200 million on health plans in the 4 states this year.

     That leaves just one company, Minnesota-based Medica Health, and its not sure it will sell those health plans next year...with a spokesman saying yesterday that it hasn't made a decision and is reviewing all its options.

      Aetna is just the latest health insurer to pull out of the federal health law, also known as Obamacare, as Republicans attack the program as failing and work to dismantle it, with President Trump threatening to withhold support from key portions of the law that keep the markets functioning.

      The uncertainty over the GOP plan, which passed the House last week but is expected to face major changes in the Senate, has health insurers reluctant to make any commitments to future years and Nebraska Republican leaders quickly jumped on the Aetna announcement as proof that Obamacare must be replaced quickly.

        Senator Deb Fischer said Aetna's exit was "further proof that Obamacare is simply unsustainable" and "underscores the importance of Congress continuing its work to ensure all Americans can access the compassionate, patient-centered and affordable health care they deserve."

      3rd District Congressman Adrian Smith of Gering said "the brokenness of Obamacare continues to become more and more evident, while Nebraskans shoulder the consequences (and) we cannot sit by and allow our country's health insurance marketplace to collapse under this unsustainable law."

    Smith, a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, has voted for every one of the more than 60 Republican measures to eliminate Obamacare since it was created, said Aetna's withdrawal creates a monopoly system in the state and that "when consumers do not have choices, costs go up and quality suffers.


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