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July 21, 2016

'Covered California' Customers Another Obamacare Casualty

  Institute for Policy Innovation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 21, 2016
CONTACT: Erin Humiston, (972) 874-5130, or erin@ipi.org

DALLAS—Despite concerted efforts to keep its state health insurance exchange rate increases low and feign the Affordable Care Act as “affordable,” California’s Obamacare exchange customers will see a 13.2% rate hike, which is more than triple the premium increases they saw the previous two years, undermining the Obama administration’s claims that health care costs have moderated. In fact, cost increases are accelerating—and Obamacare is to blame.
 
“Even those states that tried their best to keep health insurance premium increases low are failing,” said Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews. “Everyone in the Obamacare exchanges will be paying more. Some don’t see the full impact of those increases because taxpayers are subsidizing their policies, but that just means the government is spending a lot more. ”
 
“News articles emerge almost daily revealing how much money health insurers are losing providing coverage through the Obamacare health insurance exchanges,” said Matthews. “UnitedHealthcare’s announcement it would leave California’s Obamacare markets in addition to most other states’ exchanges leaves the question: if the nation’s largest health insurer is losing money and leaves the exchanges, can other health insurers be far behind?”
 
President Obama has had almost nothing but bad health care news since Obamacare passed, said Matthews—from the disastrous Healthcare.gov rollout, to dramatically higher premiums, to millions of cancelled policies, to way underperforming on the promised number of newly insured Americans, to the shut doen or more than half of the Obamacare co-ops, to frequent reports of rampant fraud and abuse.
 
“The last thing Obama wants is health insurers heading for the exits so that people have few or no choices in the exchanges, which would verify what everyone already knows: Obamacare has been a disaster for the vast majority of Americans,” said Matthews.


 

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