November 06, 2013

HHS Secretary Hedges About Premium Hikes Despite Evidence To Contrary

At Finance hearing, Crapo says it is time for a â??timeoutâ?? on Obamacare

Washington, D.C. -Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, today used a Committee hearing to catalogue the failed administration pledges about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare."  Crapo called for a "timeout" on the implementation of the law during his questioning of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. 

"We need to look past the technical problems with the Obamacare website," Crapo said.  "The president said 'If you like your plan, you can keep it,' but this is simply not true.  Unfortunately, over 100,000 Idahoans are finding this out the hard way.  Millions of Americans are discovering they cannot keep their current doctors, despite what the president said.  Claims were repeatedly made that the average family's premiums would be cut by $2,500.  As many of my colleagues and I anticipated, we are not seeing premiums go down as a result of Obamacare, but are in fact seeing premiums skyrocket.  Further, the president said the middle class would not see their taxes increase, but millions of individuals are seeing their taxes go up because the health care law.

"These combined factors justify the need for a timeout.  The law is not working as it was promised, proving this is more than a website problem.  We need to find out why premiums are going up, not down, and why millions are experiencing cancelations of their health care coverage instead of being protected." 

(Click here to view full Q & A video on YouTube)

Crapo challenged the secretary to further explain her claims that premiums in the individual market are going down.  Sebelius held that the rates are lower "based on the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] projections," but Crapo noted those are the projections based on selective data and are inconsistent with recent studies.  Ultimately, the secretary would not confirm on the record that rates are going down, only that they are lower than previous "projections."

(Click here to view the video of this exchange on YouTube)