Market-based health insurance is simply never going to work for people in rural America. Health insurance companies don’t make as much profit in rural areas, so they usually don’t bother to operate there.
We have 16 counties in the Fifth District, and there are only two of them (Centre and Tioga) with three insurance providers on the ACA exchange. Eight counties have only two providers, and six mostly rural counties — Clarion, Elk, Forest, McKean, Warren, and Venango — have only one provider.
Across the country, 30% of ACA exchange participants have no choice in insurance provider, because they live in one of the 1,565 counties in the U.S. that have only one provider on the ACA exchange. (That’s half of the counties in the country!) No competition means high deductibles and massive hikes in premiums every year for rural Americans.
I’m running for Congress because our current health insurance system is broken. We have to protect the coverage that the Affordable Care Act provides for our friends and neighbors as Congress tries to rip it away, but that’s only the first step. We need to move beyond for-profit healthcare to a Medicare-for-All, single-payer, national health insurance system.