ObamaCare is imploding at break-neck speed.  As many as 1,332 counties will have only one health insurer on the ObamaCare exchange by 2018, and forty counties will have none at all.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

Next year, there will be 1,332 counties in the United States that will only have one health insurer operating on the Obamacare exchanges, according to recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The agency has been looking at health insurer announcements and compiling data to see which counties will have either one or no Obamacare insurers operating in 2018. Roughly a month ago, the agency projected that 1,300 counties would have only one insurer operating next year.

The agency also previously reported there were 49 counties left with no insurer operating next year, but recent data finds that the number has declined to 40 counties.

“The map currently shows that nationwide 40 counties are projected to have no issuers, meaning that Americans in these counties could be without coverage on the Exchanges in 2018,” the agency said. “It’s also projected that 1,332 counties—over 40 percent of counties nationwide—could only have one issuer in 2018.”

. . . . “We continue to see a decline in issuer participation in the Health Insurance Exchanges leaving consumers with fewer and fewer insurance options,” said CMS administrator Seema Verma. “I am deeply concerned about the crisis situation facing the individual market in many states across the nation.”

This raises the question of the individual mandate.  How can you be required by federal law to purchase something that is not available to you?

The Washington Free Beacon continues:

Even if an individual lives in an area where there is no insurer offering health coverage, individuals will still be forced to purchase coverage because of Obamacare’s individual mandate.

Senators Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) have introduced legislation that would protect people from being penalized for not having insurance when there are no insurers operating on the exchanges in their area.

The Health Care Options Act of 2017 would waive the penalty in these cases and allow individuals to purchase coverage outside of the exchanges.