Barrasso: Obamacare Deductibles So High, No One Gets to Use the Insurance

By Susan Jones | May 25, 2016 | 6:23 AM EDT

Sen. John Barrasso (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Department of Health and Human Services insists that the Affordable Care Act not only expanded health insurance to many more Americans, but it also "made everyone's insurance better."

But some Republicans are asking, what good is the health insurance if sky-high deductibles mean you never get to use it?

The Democrats' Affordable Care Act is a mandate -- "not to get care, but to get coverage," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on Tuesday.

"And many people are finding the coverage is not at all of value to them because they can't get care. Either...their doctors don't take Obamacare or the deductibles are so high that they're never able to get to the insurance," Barrasso told a news conference.

"The president may call this a victory for the American people. I think this is something the president should not be proud of at all."

Barrasso noted that on Wednesday, Healthcare.gov will start reporting the 2017 premium increases for Obamacare policies sold on the exchanges.

"The news is not good for the American public," Barrasso said.

"We're seeing numbers in New Hampshire above 40 percent increases; in New York, above 40 percent increases; in New Mexico, where Blue Cross-Blue Shield of New Mexico pulled out a year ago, they're talking about coming back in, but only if they can get a rate increase of over 80 percent.

"So, the people that can still get their insurance, they may be the lucky ones in the sense that so many people are no longer even able to get the insurance they've had.

"Obamacare is a sinking ship. When you take a look at the companies around the country selling insurance, about 25 percent were able to make money last year. And the only way they did it is because they set the deductible so high that for people who had that insurance, the deductibles were so high that they never actually got to the point where they used the insurance. They were just paying out of pocket all the way through.

Barrasso noted that in Idaho, the most commonly sold "silver" plan is considering deductibles of $6,850. "If you have insurance with a deductible of $6,850, is there any chance you're actually going to get to use that insurance?" he asked.

"President Obama went on the attack years ago before the health care law was passed talking about junk insurance. But what most people are finding on the Obamacare exchanges is exactly what President Obama is making them buy."