Obamacare is just not working for many Americans

Big Money

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As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama’s health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program’s loftiest goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans.

Rural areas and small towns have far fewer carriers offering plans in the law’s online exchanges.

Those places, many of them poor, are being asked to choose from some of the highest-priced plans in the 34 states where the federal government is running the health insurance marketplaces, a review by The New York Times has found.

The Obama administration, while not disputing the findings, responded to the analysis in a statement that the marketplaces “allow insurers to compete for customers based on price and quality.”

Brian Haile, who was in charge of planning Tennessee’s state-run insurance marketplace, said he found the lack of competition in the online marketplace in his state “shameful” and blamed the federal government.