INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been exactly a year since House Republicans passed their disastrous health care overhaul – and while their unpopular bill ultimately failed, congressional Republicans have stopped at nothing to continue their sabotage of the nation’s health care system over the following 365 days.
Last May 4, congressional Republicans, including Congressmen Messer and Rokita, forced through their American Health Care Act (AHCA), which Rep. Braun also vocally supported. The bill passed despite bipartisan opposition and incredible unpopularity – only 17% of Americans supported the bill in a poll taken shortly after its passage. The reasons for its unpopularity were clear – the bill would have been a disaster for Hoosiers:
- AHCA would have raised Hoosiers’ premiums by an average of $1,000 and allowed insurance companies to charge older Hoosiers as much as five times more than younger enrollees.
- It would have allowed insurance companies to discriminate against Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions, charging individuals prohibitive rates because they had a cancer history, were diabetic, or were pregnant.
- It would have cut nearly $800 billion from Medicaid, stripping crucial funding to address the opioid crisis and harming Hoosiers at every stage of their lives – from children with developmental disabilities to nursing home beds for seniors.
- AHCA would have gutted HIP 2.0 and kicked nearly 400,000 Hoosiers off their health care.
After failing to pass their disastrous overhaul, the GOP continued to sabotage the heath care markets throughout the year:
- Congressional Republicans and the administration spent much of the summer sabotaging the health care marketplaces, shortening enrollment windows and withholding crucial payments intended to keep premiums down for low-income Hoosiers.
- They finished 2017 by enacting the McConnell tax plan, which will likely cause 13 million Americans to go without health care coverage over the next ten years.
While AHCA may have failed, it seems likely that their sabotage efforts have worked:
- Prior to 2018 enrollment, multiple insurance companies left the Indiana marketplace – blaming “uncertainty” caused by sabotage efforts – leaving only two remaining.
- One Indiana insurer said that rates would rise for Hoosiers by as little as 2% without Republican efforts – but instead rates rose by double digits.
- Independent sources like the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Officehave said that thanks to the McConnell tax plan, rates are likely to rise by as much as a third next year.
- Even President Trump’s former Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, placed blame directly on the GOP-led sabotage for the rising cost of health care this week.
“After trying and failing to pass their disastrous health care overhaul a year ago, Republicans have stopped at nothing to sabotage the system and prevent Hoosiers from having access to affordable health care,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Whoever emerges from the GOP Senate primary next Tuesday will have to explain to Hoosiers why they’ve supported efforts to raise their premiums by double-digits and dismantle essential programs like HIP 2.0 and Medicaid.”