U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch say rate increases in Affordable Care Act insurance plans point to bigger problems with Obamacare, the federal health care law that both favor repealing.
News came out Monday that premiums were increasing by an average of 25 percent for 2017 in the 39 states where people sign up for insurance through the federal healthcare.gov, and an average of 22 percent when you add in the states that have their own enrollment systems.
Idaho falls into the second category. The Idaho Department of Insurance announced in late September that the rates for individual plans would be increasing an average of 24 percent.
Obama administration officials are stressing that the subsidies, which cover most of the cost of insurance for most people on the exchanges, are going up too, insulating most people from the full brunt of the increases. About 90 percent of the people enrolled in Your Health Idaho qualify for the tax credits, for example, KTVB reported in September.
“Once again, Idahoans are seeing that Obamacare is not solving the issues or providing the solutions it was supposed to achieve," Crapo said Monday. "From reduced plan options, to costly deductibles to a lack of choice in doctors, patients are now being saddled with a premium increase of nearly 25 percent. While titled the ‘Affordable Care Act,’ Obamacare has failed to control costs for patients and offer the choices promised by President Obama. Now, in its implementation, we are seeing the weight of the law collapse at the expense of working families. In Idaho families will see an increase of more than 24 percent in their premiums and while there are five plans providing coverage in Idaho, reports indicate that for 2017, not all carriers or plans may be available across the state."
“Every day we see more and more problems associated with Obamacare," Risch said. "The White House's latest announcement regarding substantial and unacceptable premium increases is further, irrefutable evidence that this one-size-fits-all approach to health care is unworkable and unaffordable. As I have said since the beginning, we must replace this abomination before it inflicts even greater pain on Idahoans.”
By Nathan Brown