As Obamacare Crumbles, Americans Are Left To Pick Up The Pieces
‘Unless we act, Obamacare premiums will keep skyrocketing across the nation, pushing the financial burden of this broken law onto the backs of more hardworking Americans. We’ve seen the result of this already with last year’s rate filings, which left many states facing double-digit premium increases as even more insurance options left the market.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the failures of Obamacare:
“As Obamacare continues to collapse, a new Gallup poll out last week showed, quote, ‘Healthcare Surges as Top Problem in US.’ It’s not hard to see why so many Americans feel this way. They turn on the TV and hear that there will be even fewer options on the Obamacare marketplaces in state after state. They pick up the newspaper and see that even more double-digit premium increases are being proposed for too many of the Obamacare plan options that still remain. And they know what these stories mean for their families: they’ll be left to pick up the pieces as Obamacare continues to crumble across the country.
“Unless we act, Obamacare premiums will keep skyrocketing across the nation, pushing the financial burden of this broken law onto the backs of more hardworking Americans. We’ve seen the result of this already with last year’s rate filings, which left many states facing double-digit premium increases as even more insurance options left the market. Premium price hikes for some Obamacare plans reached startling levels, averaging 53% in Pennsylvania, 63% in Tennessee, and a shocking 116% in Arizona, just to name a few. Now, families are again awaiting projections for this year’s filings and once again bracing for the worst.
“In the coming weeks and months, proposed rate increases under Obamacare will roll in from across the nation — and, already, Obamacare customers in a handful of states have learned just how high their premiums could rise in 2018. For example, consumers in Vermont just learned that premiums on the exchanges could increase by double-digits next year. In Connecticut, requested premium rate-increases are as high as 52% on the exchanges. And in Maryland, one major insurer is asking for an average rate increase of nearly 60% — Obamacare’s marketplaces, that insurer warned, are in the ‘early stages of a death spiral.’ Are our Democratic friends, who promised to lower costs under Obamacare, okay with what looks to be yet another year of massive Obamacare premium increases?
“This news is alarming not only for the families on the exchanges in the states I just named, but for the thousands more across the nation who may be hit with similar reports in coming weeks. As one recent AP story, titled ‘More price hikes likely for government insurance markets,’ observed: ‘Early moves by insurers suggest that another round of price hikes and limited choices will greet insurance shoppers around the country when they start searching for next year's coverage on the public markets established by the Affordable Care Act.’
“Moreover, as the story went on to say, over 40 percent of counties could have just a single insurer to choose from on the exchanges next year. It’s troubling news, especially given that so many states, like mine, have already experienced insurers fleeing the Obamacare marketplace leaving families with limited options. This year, Kentuckians in 49% of our counties — let me repeat that, 49%, nearly half of the counties in Kentucky — have only one insurer to choose from. And of course, having only one option is really no choice at all.
“It’s a harsh reality facing more and more Americans, and these Obamacare failures have real consequences for the men and women we represent. As one of our Democratic friends commented just last week, on news that his state will be left with only a single insurer next year under Obamacare, ‘This will mean that more than 12,000 Delawareans will have to find a new insurance plan and [that] our hardworking families will have fewer options and harder choices to make about their health insurance coverage.’
“Can our Democratic colleagues, who promised more choice under Obamacare, really be okay with the continuing failures of Obamacare? The status quo under Obamacare is simply unsustainable and unacceptable. That’s why the entire Senate Republican Conference is working together on the best way forward to bring much-needed relief to the families who’ve been left behind by Obamacare’s continuing failures.
“I hope our Democratic colleagues will join us in working to do so. They just sent me a letter last week where they acknowledged that Obamacare hasn’t lived up to its promises and where they effectively conceded that the status quo is unsustainable. I hope it means they’re finally ready to join us in moving away from Obamacare and supporting smarter health care policies. After years of defending a system that isn’t working for far too many Americans, it’s time that Senate Democrats finally face the reality of this flawed Obamacare law. The failures of Obamacare aren’t just isolated to one region of the country either. They’re affecting people from the East Coast to the West, from the North to the South. And things are likely to get even worse unless we work to finally move beyond the failures of Obamacare.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Health Care, Obamacare