Ranking Member Scott: Proposed Rate Hikes Show that Consumers Are Paying for GOP Attacks on Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after two of Virginia’s Marketplace insurers proposed significant premium increases for 2019. The insurers specifically attributed the premium hikes to the Republican repeal of the individual mandate and other initiatives adopted by the Trump administration, such as their plan to weaken the Obamacare Marketplace by loosening restrictions on junk health plans that undermine patient protections.

“In response to repeated Republican attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I warned that the schemes would raise costs and the ultimate cost of their efforts would be paid by consumers. Unfortunately, we are now seeing the bill come due. As the insurers specifically spelled out, the significant premium hikes proposed for 2019 are a direct consequence of the politically motivated actions taken by the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans.

“I am deeply frustrated that my Republican colleagues continue to destabilize our health care system without regard for the impact on Virginians and families across the country.

“Earlier this year, I joined two House Democrats to introduce legislation that would reverse efforts to sabotage Obamacare while lowering premiums and strengthening patient protections, both of which are essential to ensuring patients have access to the care they need. Recently, we asked Speaker Ryan for an opportunity to vote on that legislation.

“It is not too late to repair the damage done to the Affordable Care Act and save people across the country from a wave of premium increases. I encourage President Trump and the Republican Congress to stop undermining the Affordable Care Act and start working with Democrats to make sure that every American has access to quality and affordable health care.”

For more than a year, Ranking Member Bobby Scott has warned that premiums would skyrocket as a result of Republican sabotage:

  • When the Trump administration pulled marketing and outreach for the Affordable Care Act in January 2017, Ranking Member Scott warned that the action would suppress enrollment, weakening the risk pool and resulting in greater costs for everyone.
  • Ranking Member Scott warned that the Trump administration’s decision to cut off cost-sharing reduction payments in October 2017 would, according to CBO, cause premiums to rise 20 percent by next year.
  • Ranking Member Scott warned that Republicans’ repeal of the individual mandate in December 2017 would, according to CBO, increase premiums by 10 percent.
  • When the Trump administration proposed harmful rules on association health plans in January 2018 and short-term insurance in February 2018, Ranking Member Scott warned that as healthier and lower cost consumers get cheap plans with skimpy benefits that may not meet their health needs, older, sicker, and higher cost consumers and those with pre-existing conditions would be left behind in the traditional market with skyrocketing costs.