House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)
(CNSNews.com) -- Following the release of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the American Health Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said in a press conference on Thursday he was encouraged that the bill is meeting its budget targets and will lower health insurance premiums for Americans.
He also stressed that because Obamacare is collapsing across the nation, the AHCA is a “rescue mission.”
“I’m actually comforted by the CBO report, which shows that it [AHCA] will lower premiums, and we can make sure people with pre-existing conditions get covered,” he said.
On a related note, Ryan then cited a Health and Human Services report, ASPA Data Point, showing that average health insurance premiums have more than doubled nationwide since Obamacare went into effect.
“Remember when President Obama promised that his healthcare plan would lower the typical family’s premiums by up to $2,500?” he said. “Under Obamacare, average premiums have gone up by nearly $3,000.”
Ryan further said that Blue Cross & Blue Shield (BCBS) announced yesterday it is pulling out of 32 counties in Kansas and Missouri, which will affect 67,000 people.
BCBS are non-profits. “They’re typically the last plans standing on the market,” said Ryan. “When they’re pulling out of states like Kansas and Missouri, we have serious problems on our hands.”
Ryan quoted a BCBS statement that, given all the losses it suffered in 2016, “this is “unsustainable.” Aetna, he added, is also pulling out nationwide.
“In Iowa, there’s nothing left,” said the House Speaker. “There are no plans left in Iowa because Obamacare collapsed.”
“This is exactly why we are on a rescue mission,” said Ryan. “Obamacare is on an unsustainable path.”
The Trump administration is trying to provide younger, healthier people with the flexibility to purchase plans at a reasonable price and, for the first time ever, direct federal dollars straight to support those people with catastrophic illnesses,” said Ryan.
“What we have learned through experience is if we target resources at the state level and at the federal level to help subsidize catastrophic illnesses, you can end up lowering premiums for everybody else,” he said. “We think that’s so much smarter.”
Through this bill, he said, the system will be able to achieve a peace of mind, innovation at the state level and lowered premiums for everybody.
“And that is why this is a rescue mission,” he said.