UPDATE: AFP Asks Senator Hagan How She Responds to Projected Premium Increases

Sep 3, 2014 by AFP

Obamacare Average Premium Increases In NC Expected To Be Among Highest in U.S.

RALEIGH – Americans for Prosperity is updating a statement from earlier today highlighting the latest projected premium increases in North Carolina. A previous version of a Price Waterhouse Cooper Health Research Institute study said the average increase in North Carolina could be 10.8 %, but that was recently updated. The average premium increase is now listed by Price Waterhouse Cooper as 7.7%, which is still higher than the majority of states reporting premium increases, and is 7.7% higher than Senator Hagan promised.

Americans for Prosperity is asking Senator Kay Hagan how she justifies continuing to support a law which is driving up health insurance premiums for her constituents by nearly 8 percent.

“Kay Hagan sold Obamacare to North Carolina on the promise that the law would reduce costs, increase access to care and, of course, allow those who like their current plan to keep it. Instead, health care is getting more expensive, and people all over the state are receiving cancellation letters. ” explained Donald Bryson, North Carolina State Director of Americans for Prosperity. “How does she respond to the real-world impacts of this law on her constituents? North Carolinians want answers or a new set of policies from Senator Hagan. She should explain why she defends this broken law, or stop doubling down on it and work to end it.”

A History of Broken Promises: Hagan Promised North Carolinians They Could Keep Doctors & Their Plans At Least 20 Times

  1. Hagan: “I think the fundamental promise of this effort to the American people has been and continue to be that if you got health insurance now, you’re happy with it, you can keep it.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Health Care Reform Markup, 6/17/09)
  2. Hagan: “First of all I want to be clear that if you have your insurance, you like your insurance, and your doctors, you keep them. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to change that part.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Press Conference, 10/10/09)
  3. Hagan: “I also want to be sure that if you have health insurance you keep it. We don’t want to do anything to change that.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Health care Reform: Senate Progress on the Bill 11/9/09)
  4. Hagan: “If you have health insurance and you like you physicians, keep it. Nothing is gonna change along those lines.” (WXII, NC Politicians Views on Healthcare Reform 8/15/09)
  5. Hagan: “My promise is that if you have health insurance that you’re happy with, then we don’t need to change that.” (Gordon Anderson, “Health care dominates discussion at meetings,” Sanford Herald, 8/26/09)
  6. Hagan: “If you have your health insurance and you like it, I want to be sure that whatever we do doesn’t interfere with that. I want to make sure that people can keep that health insurance.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Remarks at NC AFL CIO Convention, 9/11/09)
  7. Hagan: “If you like your doctors you can definitely keep it, keep your health insurance.”  (Carolina News 14, 8/09)
  8. Hagan: “‘If people like their insurance, we don’t want to change it,’ Hagan said during a press conference in the hospital board room.”  (Paul B. Johnson, “Hagan touts reform during tour of hospital,” High Point Enterprise, 8/8/09)
  9. Hagan: “The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee crafted a bill that ensures that people who like their insurance and their doctors keep them. They also expand access to health insurance for those without it and slows down the skyrocketing cost of health care. Three critical components that President Obama called for in his speech to congress two weeks ago.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Remarks on the Senate Floor, 9/23/09)
  10. Hagan: “I have been focused on a reform bill that…ensures that if you like your insurance and your doctors, you keep them.”  (Sen. Kay Hagan, Remarks on the Senate Floor, 11/5/09)
  11. Hagan: “Of course, we need to make sure that the people who are happy with their insurance can keep it.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Senate HELP Committee Hearing, 4/30/09)
  12. Hagan: “I think the key here is if you’ve got health insurance in our country, you keep. Whatever we do, I don’t want to dismantle any system where people are happy with the coverage that they have.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Remarks at a Townhall, 2009)
  13. Hagan: “Under this bill, people who lose or change their jobs can keep their health care. And we make certain that people who like their health insurance and their doctors get to keep them.”  (Sen. Kay Hagan, Op-Ed, “What I Want In Health Care Reform,” Charlotte Observer, 8/2/09)
  14. Hagan: “I want to be sure that if you like your health insurance, you keep it. I don’t want to change that.”  (Sen. Kay Hagan, Interview, Keith Larson Show, 8/30/09)
  15. Hagan: “…We’ve got to be sure that if you like your doctor and your health insurance, we’re not going to change.”  (Sarah Campbell, “Hagan Visit Emphasizes call For Health Care Reform,” Kinston Free Press, 8/24/09)
  16. Hagan: “While there are many details that still need to be worked out, we ultimately need health insurance reform that ensures people who like their insurance and doctors keep them, expands access to health insurance for those without it, and slows down the skyrocketing cost of health care. I am committed to working with my Senate colleagues to ensure these critical components are included in the final bill.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, Hagan Comments On The Finance Committee’s Health Care Bill, Press Release, 9/16/09)
  17. Hagan: “‘We have passed a compromise health care reform bill that will stabilize costs and ensure that people who are happy with their health care and doctors can keep them.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, “Health Reform Bill Passes Health Committee With Hagan Amendments,” Press Release, 7/15/09)
  18. Hagan: “As I have said all along and the President just confirmed – people who like their current insurance and doctors will keep them.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, “Hagan Reaction To President Obama’s Heath Care Speech To A Joint Session Of Congress,” Press Release, 9/9/09)
  19. Hagan: “It also expands coverage and ensures that if you like your insurance and your doctors, you keep them.” (Sen. Kay Hagan, “Hagan Comments On Finance Committee’s Passage Of Health Care Reform Bill,” Press Release, 10/13/09)
  20. Hagan: “We are now ready to debate on the Senate floor a pro-patient, pro-consumer bill that strengthens the current system….Individuals and employers who like their health insurance and doctors will keep them.”  (Sen. Kay Hagan, “Hagan Comments On The Critical Step Forward For Health Care Reform In The Senate,” Press Release, 11/21/09)
  21. Hagan: “People who like their insurance coverage and doctors will keep them.”  (Sen. Kay Hagan, “Hagan Comments On Senate Health Care Bill,” Press Release, 11/19/09)
  22. Hagan Website: “Ensures you can keep the coverage you have…Individuals and employers who like their health insurance and doctors will keep them.” (“Health Care Facts: Middle Class Families,” www.hagan.senate.gov, Accessed 5/27/14)
  23. Hagan: “‘People who have insurance they’re happy with can keep it.’” “We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance they’re happy with can keep it while also providing a backstop option for people without access to affordable coverage.” (“Republicans Vent As Other Compromise Plans Get Aired,” National Journal’s Congress Daily, 6/18/09)
  24. Hagan Newsletter: “She also wants people to have the peace of mind to know that, if they are happy with their current plan and their current doctors, then they will be able to keep them.” (“Hagan Hotline: The Week In Review,” www.hagan.senate.gov, 6/19/09)

Due To Obamacare, Nearly Half A Million North Carolinians Received Cancellation Letters

473,724 North Carolinians Have Received Insurance Cancellation Letters Due To ObamaCare According To The North Carolina Department Of Insurance. “Twenty-one companies terminated 183,821 individual and group health insurance policies affecting 473,724 people by late October, according to figures collected by North Carolina’s Insurance Department. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina issued 151,640 cancellations, followed by 20,370 by Coventry Health and 4,459 by Aetna. Aetna bought Coventry this year.” (Emery P. Dalesio, “Obama Move On Canceled Plans May Touch 475K In NC,” The Associated Press, 11/14/13)

  • A Part-Time Nurse From North Carolina Found That ObamaCare Health Plans Were Unaffordable, Despite Carrying A $6,500 Deductible And Qualifying For A Subsidy. “‘I’m a nurse, but my employer doesn’t offer health insurance,’ said Gwen Eliezer, 32, who lives an hour north of Asheville in rural northwestern North Carolina. …  Eliezer works an average of 29 hours a week and isn’t considered a full-time employee. She said she can’t afford the $200 monthly premium and $6,500 deductible in the plan she found on the federal health insurance exchange — even with a premium subsidy.” (Judy Lin, “ObamaCare Falling Short On Insuring The Uninsured,” The Associated Press, 4/21/14)

Small Businesses Expecting Cancellation Letters This Fall

Many Small Businesses Will Be Receiving Cancellation Letters In October 2014, Right Before The November Midterm Elections. “While some cancellation notices already have gone out, insurers say the bulk of the letters will be sent in October, shortly before the next open-enrollment period begins. The timing – right before the midterm elections – could be difficult for Democrats who are already fending off Republican attacks about the Affordable Care Act and its troubled rollout.” (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Second Wave Of Health-Insurance Disruption Affects Small Businesses,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

  • The Department Of Health And Human Services Estimated That 80 Percent Of Small Business Health Plans Will Be Cancelled, Affecting As Many As 46 Million Americans. “An estimated 18 million to 24 million people in the United States have insurance through employers with fewer than 50 workers, and about 40 million have coverage through firms with fewer than 100 workers. The Department of Health and Human Services estimated in 2010 that up to 80 percent of small-group plans, defined as having fewer than 100 workers, could be discontinued by the end of 2013. But many small employers bought themselves extra time by renewing policies early through the end of 2014.” (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Second Wave Of Health-Insurance Disruption Affects Small Businesses,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

The Cancellation Letters Will Leave “Some Small-Business Owners Confused And Disillusioned” About ObamaCare. “Still, the changes being made by the insurance industry are leaving some small-business owners confused and disillusioned about the law – whether it is directly to blame for the changes or not.” (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Second Wave Of Health-Insurance Disruption Affects Small Businesses,” The Washington Post, 1/11/14)

It’s Only Going To Get Worse

A University Of Minnesota Study Suggests An Increase In The Number Of Uninsured By 2024 Due To A Drop-off In Both Individual And Employer Coverage. “Stephen Parente, a University of Minnesota health economist who advised Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, used the Obama administration’s final 2014 enrollment reports and his microsimulation model to project health plan prices and enrollment over the next decade. His projections, shared first with the Washington Post, find an increase in individual plan enrollment in 2015 and 2016, before sharply dropping off in 2017 and then slowly decreasing below 2015 levels by 2024. At the same time, he projects a steady decrease in employer coverage that will be steeper than the gains in Medicaid enrollment, resulting in a greater number of uninsured 10 years out.” (Jason Millman, “Why The Major Test For Obamacare Premiums Might Wait Until 2017,” The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, 5/27/14)

  • Two Factors In The Drop-Off In Coverage Are The Expiration Of ACA Programs Meant To Blunt Major Rate Hikes And The Phasing In Of New Health Plan Requirements. “So, how does Parente’s model explain the big drop-off in coverage between 2016 and 2017? He cites two major factors: the scheduled expiration of ACA programs meant to blunt major rate hikes and the phasing in of new health plan requirements as old health plans come to an end.” (Jason Millman, “Why The Major Test For Obamacare Premiums Might Wait Until 2017,” The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, 5/27/14)

The Study Also Suggests A “Big Price Jump” In Premiums In 2017. “Parente’s model finds these factors will have the most significant affect [sic] on 2017 premiums for less-robust plans in Obamacare’s ‘metal tiers.’ These include catastrophic and bronze-level health plans, which have the cheapest premiums but the highest out-of-pocket costs. The effects will differ by state, but the national picture shows a big price jump for bronze and catastrophic plans between 2016 and 2017 — premiums for the average individual bronze plan, before subsidies, are projected to climb between $2,132 and $4,174 between those two years.” (Jason Millman, “Why The Major Test For Obamacare Premiums Might Wait Until 2017,” The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, 5/27/14)

Tell Sen. Hagan that Obamacare is not working for North Carolina.

For further information or an interview, please contact Donald Bryson at DBryson@afphq.org or 919-710-0484

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org