Commentary

Obama’s ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act Strikes Again: Insurers Seek Premium Increases of 30%

Twila Brase
By Twila Brase | August 8, 2017 | 9:21 AM EDT

Demonstrators protest Obamacare. (Flickr Photo/Labeled for Reuse)

There’s more bad news for American families paying for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that major health insurers in five states—Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming—will seek increases of 30 percent or more for premiums on 2018 Obamacare plans, according to preliminary rate requests published last week by the Department of Health and Human Services.

This latest round of Obamacare increases points to one solution—repeal.

This news simply reinforces the message we’ve been sending for many months—repeal, repeal, repeal. Nearly every week, we hear real-life examples of how the “Unaffordable” Care Act is hitting Americans in their wallets and compromising their quality of care. Enough is enough, and we hope this latest round of skyrocketing premiums will be the ammunition Congress needs to finally repeal every word of Obamacare. Real Americans—those who voted these lawmakers into office—are experiencing severe financial hardship because of health care, sometimes paying more for premiums than their home mortgages. And that is wrong.

While members of Congress are dragging their feet on an Obamacare repeal, President Donald Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price can move along the collapse of the state exchanges by prohibiting cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies and by dismissing a House of Representatives lawsuit involving CSRs that the Trump administration inherited from former President Barack Obama.

The prohibition of CSRs won’t cause insurance companies to collapse, as some claim, but it will cause the federal and state exchanges to collapse. This is an opportunity to finally see the end of this costly wage redistribution system. Insurance companies will still be able to offer coverage outside of the exchanges, taxpayers won’t be chipping in to cover the high cost of premium subsidies for others while being forced to cover their own costs. As state exchanges collapse, state legislatures should remember the rights states have under the 10th Amendment, seize their chance to go over the heads of Congress and re-authorize affordable catastrophic coverage and state high-risk pools in their states.

Twila Brase is president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights.

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