May 28, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
Wisconsin, WI – Health insurance companies are proposing large premium increases next year in several states for insurance sold through exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
The premium increases average sixteen percent. The highest is from Humana in Georgia, averaging hikes of over 65 percent. State regulators will still need to approve the proposed increases. Amidst upcoming federal elections, the Obama Administration is playing down the double-digit hike, noting that many consumers will be shielded from all or of these increases by federal subsidies. Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, says that while the Affordable Care Act was a major step forward, these rate increase requests show the American health system is still in dramatic need of reform.
[Robert Kraig]: “Conservatives are going to try to say that it’s being caused by Obamacare, by the Affordable Care Act, even though, quite frankly, inflation has been less since it was passed…and certainly taking no responsibility for the fact that they’re not allowing us to go to the next stage of reform. Because we’re stuck in this endless debate where conservatives want to simply repeal the Affordable Care Act—that’s their whole health plan—rather than moving forward and building on it and trying to deal with the next big issue we have, which is cost. At this point, the special interests are winning way too much, and the debate’s far too much of an inside debate, which means the public loses.”