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Saturday, August 27, 2016
GOP Senator Slams Obamacare As Prices Jump, Competition Shrinks
The Stream - Saturday August 27, 2016
by Juliegrace Brufke
Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee lambasted Democrats for Obamacare leading to less health care options for Americans during the GOP weekly address Saturday.
Citing a recent Business Insider article discussing the “very near collapse” of Tennessee's Obamacare exchange, Alexander slammed the Affordable Care Act for limiting options and upping out of pocket costs.
"Next year Tennesseans will be paying an intolerable increase -- on average, between 44 and 62 percent more for their Obamacare plans than they paid last year," he said, noting taxpayers are on the hook for subsidies when policyholders are unable to pay. "Even for a healthy 40-year-old, non-smoking Tennessean with the lowest price silver plan on Tennessee's exchange, premiums increased last year to $262 a month. Next year, it's $333 a month."
The senator said he expects the collapse to continue, adding that numerous nonpartisan organizations have projected a number of regions will be limited to one option.
"According to the consulting firm Avalere Health, Americans buying insurance in one third of Obamacare exchange regions next year may have only one insurer to choose from," he said. "People buying on Obamacare exchanges will have only one insurer to choose from in five states next year: Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation."
Alexander went on to say the GOP predicted the issues ahead of its implementation.
"Before Obamacare ever became law, Republicans warned President Obama and Democrats in Congress that this would happen," he said. "In February of 2010, I spoke for Republicans at a White House summit on health care and warned President Obama that premiums for millions of Americans with individual insurance would rise under his proposal. But warnings are not much use now."
Arizona Sen. John McCain concurred with Alexander's sentiments in an op-ed published on Fox News Thursday, slamming the ACA for leaving an entire county in the state without any health-care options on the exchange.