Obamcare consequences: ‘Premiums up, competition down’

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Washington, D.C., Aug 1, 2013 | Jen Talaber (202.225.2931) | comments

Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D., joined other House Energy and Commerce Committee Members today in a hearing, entitled “Pulse Check,” to examine the implementation of Obamacare.  With the health care exchanges’ operational deadline looming, Gingrey questioned CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner as to whether President Obama’s health care law would be ready on schedule. As the recent rate shock in Georgia and the part-timing of workers have demonstrated, when it comes to implementation, Americans have more questions than the administration has answers.

“With 60 days until the insurance exchanges have to be ready, we still unfortunately continue to see headlines that insurance costs will be going up and people purchasing through the exchanges will have fewer options,” Gingrey said. “Just this week, the insurance commissioner in my home state of Georgia, Ralph Hudgens announced that we could see rates rise as much as 198 percent. On average, it’s not a pretty situation: For an average 27 year-old male, premiums are set to rise 85 to 198 percent within the exchanges, while for a 45 year-old male, premiums will rise 40 to 100 percent. Even an older adult just before the Medicare eligibility age will pay 18 to 48 percent more in the Obamacare exchanges.

“This is not just a Georgia problem, we have heard from a number of states that, believe it or not, the exact scenario we have been talking about since this bill was passed is occurring and people will be forced to spend even more money on their monthly premiums.”


Energy and Commerce Background:
Recent unilateral action to delay the employer mandate and to waive the verification process for individuals applying for subsidies on the exchanges has raised new concerns regarding the administration’s ability to implement this law on the current schedule. On July 18, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing in an effort to gain insight from the Treasury Department regarding the July 2 decision to delay the employer mandate. Treasury Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Heath Policy Mark Iwry failed to provide adequate details regarding the decision, making additional oversight necessary.

 

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