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As the criticism and anger build against the GOP's new American Health Care Act (AHCA), one major health insurance company has just dealt a significant blow to the current system.

On Wednesday, Aetna — America's third-largest health insurer — announced that it would no longer offer individual coverage in Nebraska or Delaware in 2018, the only remaining states in which it had planned to operate under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

In a statement to Fox Business, the company put its decision plainly, saying that it has “completely exited the exchanges” under Obamacare.

In its statement, the health insurance giant made it clear that it can simply no longer afford to operate under Obamacare, citing financial losses approaching $1 billion:

Our individual Commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016, and are projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017 despite a significant reduction in membership.

Those losses are the result of marketplace structural issues that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits, and subsequent risk pool deterioration

The announcement was not missed by the Trump administration — including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price — which is hoping that its own health care bill will become law soon.

Price said, Wednesday evening:

"Aetna’s decision to completely withdraw from the ObamaCare exchanges adds to the mountain of evidence that ObamaCare has failed the American people.

Repealing and replacing it with patient-centered solutions that stabilize the marketplace to bring down costs and increase choices is the only solution."

While Aetna's withdrawal from Obamacare has been gradual, experts note that this full departure could create, essentially, a domino effect.

Health insurance expert Cynthia Cox — who works for the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation — explained to the Associated Press:

"All it takes is one insurance company to exit, and that can create panic for other insurers and they pull out too.

Insurers don't want to be the last one holding the bag."

Even more troubling for Obamacare, as CNN Money notes, is the fact Aetna is far from the only insurer that has clearly lost faith in the ACA:

Aetna's withdrawal is the latest in a series of insurers leaving Obamacare. The exodus began last year, when several carriers announced they were exiting or downsizing in 2017 after suffering large losses.

Humana (HUM) already announced it is completely abandoning the individual market in 2018. UnitedHealthcare (UNH) pulled out of Virginia, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield said it would stop selling individual policies in Iowa in 2018.

If Obamacare is indeed in a “death spiral,” as Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini warned back in February, the GOP's work to get the AHCA done quickly and done right is that much more vital.

View Comments(12 comments)
vyagra(5 likes)The Kenyan impostor and the liberals still don't get it that the ACA written on the "stupidity of the American people" cannot survive for long counting on the continued stupidity of the American people! Looks like they also counted on the stupidity of the insurance companies, forgetting they are there to make money and NOT lose money bigtime! BTW, if the ACA was that great a plan, why did Reid and Pelosi get "exemption" for the Senators and Reps. and their staff from ACA?
Don Snyder(5 likes)It's funny how America never got to vote on this, probably wouldn't have voted for it had they had a chance, but now that it might be taken away, they are up in arms about it. Americans are becoming more and more stupid the more they lean toward the left side of the aisle. It's a bad deal, always has been, always will be. Let our new President fix it and get out of his way. You're too stupid to understand that he's trying to help you.
Angel(3 likes) One of the AHCA best kept secrets is the non coverage penalty of $3 thousand dollars for each year of non coverage. Under Obama care some people lost their insurance due to loss of jobs or full time status and have struggled to pay rising premiums resulting in just dropping coverage and going bare. Others lost their coverage due to companies pulling out. Therefore no fault of their own. As an RN, I see and hear the stories. It is wrong to punish the middle class and this bill in Its current form does just that. I have sent emails to everyone I can think of suggesting they offer an amnesty period with no response .