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June 7, 2017 - 7:02pm

Collins criticizes insurance companies for increasing costs

posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, healthcare.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today reacted to news of anticipated steep increases in the price of BlueCross BlueShield plans available to New Yorker’s through the New York State Insurance marketplace.

“Not only has Obamacare been a failure for most of America, it is now failing the people of Western New York by making basic healthcare completely unaffordable and inaccessible,” said Congressman Collins.  “I am absolutely appalled a BlueCross BlueShield plan in Western New York would increase by almost fifty percent in the marketplace.”

BlueCross BlueShield pointed to the failed Obamacare policies that have cost insurance companies millions of dollars, driving up costs for Americans.  Regulations put in place under Obamacare have made the insurance marketplace less competitive, thus increasing costs for consumers.

While President Obama promised that premiums under his plan would decrease during these last few years, a May 23, 2017 report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that Obamacare increased premiums across the country by 105% between 2013 and 2017.

“Obamacare’s chief cheerleader in our state, Governor Andrew Cuomo, owes our community an apology,” added Congressman Collins.  “Cuomo is part and parcel to Obama’s promises that ‘you can keep your plan’ and premiums will be lower.  Those have turned out to be lies.”

Collins said there was help on the way.  The American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, repeals and replaces Obamacare and removes more than $800 billion in onerous taxes and fees that have been stifling the economy and eliminating job growth.

“I am working with my colleagues in Congress to implement policies that allow the people of Western New York the opportunity to make their own choice when it comes to healthcare and provide lower premiums.  Americans deserve to be able to pick which plan works best for their family, and I’m urging the senate to take up the American Health Care Act so we can get ourselves out of this mess.”

The American Health Care Act:

·         Eliminates the individual and employer mandate, which forced millions of workers, families, and job creators into government mandated plans that did not work for their needs.

·         For Western New Yorkers, the bill also includes the largest property tax reduction ever to be enacted. The legislation includes an amendment Congressman Collins introduced that would bar federal reimbursements for New York State Medicaid funds raised from local governments.

·         Guarantees protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions by prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, banning insurers from rescinding coverage based on a pre-existing condition, and preventing insurers from raising premiums on individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage. Additionally, New York state law fully protects individuals with pre-existing conditions.

·         Modernizes and strengthens Medicaid by implementing a “per capita allotment” which provides more flexibility for states and results in the largest entitlement reform in decades.

·         Provides Americans access to affordable care that works for their needs by delivering monthly tax credits of $2,000-$14,000 a year, which individuals and families can use to purchase private insurance of their choice.

·         A provision within the American Health Care Act (AHCA), The Patient and State Stability Fund, would provide solutions to help lower costs and repair insurance markets damaged by Obamacare. CBO estimates this would significantly reduce premiums in the nongroup market and encourage participation by insurers.

The American Health Care Act is with the Senate where it will need to be approved before heading to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

 

Howard B. Owens
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Some fact checks. Collins doesn't mention that Sen. Marco Rubio led the effort to eliminate risk corridors, which were designed to stabilizing the ACA during the first 10 years of its existence while sign-ups for insurance increased.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/10/us/politics/marco-rubio-obamacare-aff...

And the Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO in North Carolina said this is why premiums are going up.

https://www.vox.com/2017/5/30/15701986/blue-cross-north-carolina-obamaca...

Here is the Congressional Budget Office report on the AHCA.

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52752

Cheryl Wilmet
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As a NYSOH Navigator I just have to disagree with Mr. Collins. Only rich people will get tax credits under the AHCA. Also the insurance companies have been raising their costs because the amount of tax credits a person gets is based on their income but also on the cost of the 2nd lowest plan available in each county. Thus the insurance companies get more tax credit money the more expensive that plan is. Lao people with preexisting conditions will be able to get insurance but they will be paying more than someone without a preexisting condition. To they will be protected is him blowing smoke up you know where. I can't speak too much about small businesses and insurance but the small businesses I helped get coverage were thrilled at how much lower their insurance cost is under the ACA. I sent an email to Mr. Collins inviting him to meet with me and maybe sit through an enrollment with me to see exactly how things work but never received a response. I feel that no one in government has any idea how enrollments are done but they are the ones making the decisions. There is so much I wish I could say but I will leave it at that. I would love a sit down with an elected official to see what it's like first hand. I'm sure even Mr. Trump has no clue.

Ed Hartgrove
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Cheryl. You wrote that, "Lao people with preexisting conditions will be able to get insurance but they will be paying more than someone without a preexisting condition".

Does that include the Hmong?

Tim Miller
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Ed - Boo Hiss. (in a good way) ;-)

Ed Hartgrove
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As Sue and Thao might say, "Tsaug, Tim!".

;)

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