In the wake of country wide health insurance price increases, ATR along with 14 other conservative groups have urged Secretary Burwell to take action. As the head of the Department of Health and Human Services Burwell has the responsibility to be honest with the public about the future of these price increases implemented by the Affordable Care Act.
The effects that have already been felt by small businesses and health insurance consumers has given a concerning insight on the future of our economy if we continue down this road. Insurance companies are readily pulling out of the Obamacare state exchanges, leading to both price increases and fewer insurance options. 2017 premium rates are not set to be released until November 1.
Proposed increases in New York are reported as ranging from 6.9% to 89.1%. Businesses that provide healthcare for their employees and individuals have the right to know price increases within their state so they can make necessary changes before the new year begins. With a November 1 release date, that gives consumers a mere two months to consider their options.
The refusal to release Obamacare rate hikes proves that this law has only had a negative impact on those who have signed up and has not been nearly as transparent as the Obama administration claimed it would be.
This coalition of conservative organizations is demanding the release of the proposed 2017 state premiums to inform the public of rate hikes they have will have to plan for.
The full letter can be found here and below:
Dear Secretary Burwell,
We are writing to urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release the official 2017 Affordable Care Act (ACA) state premium rates ahead of November 1 as currently scheduled. Across the country, Americans feel the pressure of increased out-of-pocket costs under the ACA. In 2016, many state exchanges experienced premium rate hikes, the majority of which were in the double digits. Ahead of 2017, consumers deserve to know if this trend will continue and be able to plan accordingly.
Since the implementation of the ACA, out-of-pocket costs have continued to rise. With insurers like UnitedHealth pulling out of many state exchanges, we expect this trend to continue, leading to higher costs and fewer options. These increased costs put a burden on consumers, small businesses, and ultimately the American economy as a whole. If the point of the ACA was to make Americans feel secure by having access to affordable healthcare coverage, it is currently failing. Already, we have seen many insurers filing proposed premiums for ACA plans that contain significant increases for 2017. Currently, requested rate increases for New York range from 6.9 percent to an astonishing 89.1 percent. By withholding the final approved rates until November, HHS is failing to be transparent about information Americans rely on to make informed healthcare decisions.
Two months is simply not enough time for patients and businesses that rely on health insurance to consider their coverage options and plan for yet another increase in their healthcare costs. To keep healthcare affordable and maintain competition in the health insurance market, we need to stop hiding the failures of the ACA and instead begin considering ways to fix this broken policy that is unfairly impacting patients.
David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Matthew Kandrach, Executive Vice President
60 Plus Association
Phil Kerpen, President
Brent Wm. Gardner, Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity
Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform
Norm Singleton, President
Campaign for Liberty
Andrew F. Quinlan, President
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Jeff Mazzella, President,
Center for Individual Freedom
Thomas Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Adam Brandon, President and CEO
Andresen Blom, Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action
Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty
Seton Motley, President
Gregory T. Angelo, President
Log Cabin Republicans
Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO