The Affordable Care Act has confused an already complex and wasteful healthcare system. Americans need more choices and a competitive insurance marketplace, not mandates. We all want a system where people are treated fairly and given the support they need to remain healthy. We want those who become ill to receive the best care possible and care that is affordable.
In 2016, Arizona had eight health insurers offering plans on the Obamacare exchanges. By the end of the year, four insurers had entirely exited the market, leaving many uninsured or unable to afford coverage altogether. The fact is Obamacare devastated Arizona’s insurance market instead of allowing for increased competition, innovation, and access.
Imposing mandates on individuals and businesses while taxing procedures, payment plans to doctors, and everyday medical devices is not a recipe for improved healthcare access, affordability or quality. Improving healthcare for every American starts by improving access to information so consumers can truly understand and compare the cost of care.
We in Congress must do everything we can to help working families obtain better access to affordable health insurance. To do this, we must foster a system that makes the price of health care honest and transparent while supporting marketplace competition to control costs. We need to focus on reforms that improve affordability and provide flexibility, not impose mandates that result in lost jobs and threaten the economic security of working Americans.
The resources below highlight a few of my concerns with the Affordable Care Act and the current state of the health insurance market:
- Kaiser Family Foundation | 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces
…the largest increases in the unsubsidized second-lowest silver plan were Phoenix, AZ (up 145% from $207 to $507 per month for a 40-year-old non-smoker), Birmingham, AL (up 71% from $288 to $492) and Oklahoma City, OK (up 67% from $295 to $493).
- USA TODAY | Obamacare Hurts My Small Business
My firm, which has fewer than 20 employees, recently received our renewal package for next year's health insurance plan. It read: "Your current coverage is no longer being offered, but we've provided you with a great alternative" -- an estimated 48% increase in premiums. That translates into approximately $1,676 in added costs per year for every individual covered on our plan ($6,704 for a family of four). That's approximately $44,000 in added annual costs that could otherwise be used to hire a college graduate.
More on Health Care
Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare through a budget process known as reconciliation. The legislation, part of House Republicans’ American Health Care Act, delivers relief from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates and advances policies proposed by President Trump to enhance and expand health savings accounts and provide tax credits to help Americans access quality, affordable health care.
To read about the House GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, please click here.
Ken Alltucker | Arizona CentralBlue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona will sell marketplace plans in all counties but Maricopa, hiking rates 51 percent. Centene Corp. will sell "Ambetter" plans in Maricopa, with 74.5 percent rate hike.
After months of health insurer exits from the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Arizona, state regulators have approved plans from two companies that will be the only marketplace insurance providers next year.
The Future of Health & Medicine Where Can Technology Take Us | Daniel Kraft, Chair for Medicine at Singularity University