Keeping Tabs on the ACA: Bloomberg Maps the Obamacare Marketplace in 2018

Thanks to an enlightening resource from Bloomberg Graphics on the #ACA marketplace, healthcare wonks and consumers alike can keep tabs on which insurers are exiting, sticking it out, or expanding Obamacare marketplace offerings in counties across the country.

Naturally, the first place I looked up was Jim Wells County — where I grew up and where most of my family still lives. Jim Wells is one of the least healthy places to live in Texas, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings. Nearly one in three adults in the county are obese, and 20% of residents lack health insurance.

According to state filings, Jim Wells is on track to have fewer insurance options in 2018 than it did in 2017, when 1,782 South Texans enrolled in Obamacare plans.

It’s likely that enrollment will be even weaker in 2018 thanks to the lack of consumer outreach by the current administration. In stark contrast to the Obama administration, President Trump’s HHS has failed to develop a robust strategy to educate and enroll Latino consumers in the marketplace. Because Jim Wells is a Latino-majority county (to the tune of 80%), this doesn’t bode well for consumers in one of the least healthy counties in Texas.

How’s the ACA doing in your community?

P.S. Jim Wells was a decisive county for LBJ’s 1948 congressional victory thanks to the stuffing of a ballot box in precinct 13 in Alice, TX (where I was born and raised). While this is, to be sure, an unsavory claim to fame, what happened in Alice changed the trajectory of American history and health (think Medicare and Medicaid). #ThanksLBJ