WASHINGTON, D.C. -Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today highlighted the negative effects of Obamacare on Idaho residents. In remarks delivered from the Senate floor, Crapo spoke about how Obamacare is raising insurance plan premiums and highlighted stories from residents in Boise, Melba, and Meridian.
Excerpts of Crapo's remarks follow. Video of Crapo's remarks may be viewed here.
On rising insurance premiums in Idaho:
"In Idaho, which operates a state exchange, the average premium increase for a BlueCross Idaho plan is 23 percent. The average increase for a Regence BlueShield of Idaho Plan is 10 percent. The average premium increase for a SelectHealth plan is 14 percent. This is after year after year of increasing health care premiums"
About one Idahoan, Daniel, from Meridian:
"Daniel is employed and the sole provider for his family. His employer offers health coverage, but the estimated cost of premiums for his family would be over $900 per month. He chose to purchase insurance from the exchange, but decided the coverage was not worth a $500 per month premium and an $8,000 deductible."
About Bill, a small business owner from Boise:
"[Bill] purchases his own health insurance and provides coverage to his 45 employees. He saw his premiums increase by 7 percent in 2014, by 12 percent in 2015 and was recently notified by his insurance company that premiums will increase by 25.6 percent in 2016."
And about Layne, from Melba:
"Layne experienced his premium increase to be over $900 per month for his family. Even without preexisting conditions, [Layne's] plan includes a $3,500 deductible."
Crapo has been an opponent of Obamacare since it was initially proposed and voted against final passage when it was considered in the Senate in 2009. The Idaho lawmaker has backed repeated legislative efforts to repeal, defund and dismantle Obamacare, including championing legislation to protect lower-and-middle income Americans from tax increases contained in the law.
During the national debate and since then, Crapo has pushed for alternative, common-sense solutions aimed at driving down the cost of health care in the United States and providing better access to quality care for all Americans without the predicted failures that are inherent in Obamacare. Among them, provisions that would realign payment incentives toward patient outcomes rather than the number of procedures administered; promote wellness and prevention programs; encourage small businesses to pool together to purchase insurance; allow insurance companies to sell across state lines to increase competition; and eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse that contributes to the rising cost of health care. Additionally, Crapo has been a long-time supporter of consumer-driven initiatives that would allow individuals to find benefit options that best meet their needs. For example, expanding effective and popular Health Savings Accounts would do so without increasing taxes or expanding the government.
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