Six-Figure Ad Slams Deborah Ross’s Support for Obamacare ‘Lies’

Oct 18, 2016 by AFP

Ad announced day after 24% rate hike for Obamacare plans in North Carolina  

RALEIGH – Americans for Prosperity North Carolina committed over a quarter-million dollars this week to a new digital ad criticizing U.S. Senate candidate Deborah Ross for continuing to support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare, despite the law resulting in millions of Americans losing their healthcare plans and paying significantly higher costs for healthcare coverage.  

Deborah Ross confirmed last week in a televised debate she would still vote for Obamacare given the chance, despite healthcare premiums soaring and only one insurer providing coverage in 90 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced a 24% rate hike for insurance plans under the ACA this week. 

“Deborah Ross is standing by the healthcare law even though it was sold to Americans based on assurances that turned out to be complete lies,” said State Director Donald Bryson.  “Contrary to false promises that North Carolina citizens could keep the healthcare coverage they liked and enjoy affordable options for insurance under Obamacare, more than half-a-million people in our state lost their preferred plan and costs are soaring.” 

“Even the lead policy author of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber of MIT, bragged publicly he purposely misled Americans about its eventual function and impact.  Despite all this deceit, Deborah Ross stands by the government power grab over our nation’s healthcare system that is Obamacare.  Her statements that she would vote for Obamacare again are shocking to North Carolina citizens who know the law was based on deliberate lies and produced the opposite outcomes as promised.   Americans for Prosperity is committed to defeating Deborah Ross in November because she continues to support the so-called Affordable Care Act as it continues to increase costs and limit healthcare coverage for North Carolinians.”   

Background:

North Carolinians faced some of highest premium hikes in the nation

“Health insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act will increase as much as 50 percent for some plans in January under newly approved rates released Friday by the N.C. Department of Insurance. … Strictly in terms of percentage, North Carolina’s increases are among the highest in the nation.” (John Murawski, “ACA Premiums In NC To Rise Sharply In 2016,” The News & Observer, 10/30/15)

North Carolina’s Average Premium Cost Was The Highest In The Southeast.

“North Carolina’s $371 premium cost was the highest in the Southeast, which had a regional average of $284, up 9.5 percent from 2015. Tennessee had a 38.6 percent increase from 2015, going from $199 to $275.” (Richard Craver, “N.C. Listed Among Premium Hike Leaders In Health Insurance Marketplaces,” Winston-Salem Journal, 5/24/16)

Blue Cross Blue Shield, NC’s largest insurer, is requesting average premium hikes of 18.8% next year

“As the Affordable Care Act lurches toward its fourth year in 2017, health insurers in North Carolina are proposing another round of big rate increases to pay for insuring people who for years couldn’t get health coverage. In filings made public Tuesday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said it wants to raise rates by an average of 18.8 percent, and Aetna is looking to increase premiums by 24.5 percent on average.” (John Murawski, “NC Health Insurers Propose ACA Rate Increases For 2017,” The News & Observer, 5/31/16)

Out of pocket expenses are also increasing,

From 2015-2016, average deductibles across all ACA plans and metal levels per enrollee increased by $601.81, (19.55 percent) and the average deductible across all bronze metal plans per enrollee increased by $764 (15.6 percent). 

(“HIX Compare 2015-2016 Datasets,” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 5/2016)

90 percent of North Carolinia counties have only one insurer operating, while ten percent will have only two operating

(Cynthia Cox & Ashley Semanskee, “Preliminary Data On Insurer Exits And Entrants In 2017 Affordable Care Act Marketplaces,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/28/16)

Blue Cross Blue Shield will be the ony insurer covering all counties in the exchange

“Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurer continuing to provide Affordable Care Act coverage in all 100 counties. Cigna will offer plans only for residents in certain parts of Wake County.” (Sam Killenberg, “Aetna And United Healthcare To Leave State Affordable Care Act Exchange,” The Daily Tar Heel, 8/29/16)

North Carolina exchange marketplace health plans have less choice and higher premiums

“In North Carolina, this year’s plans on the ACA marketplace are marked by higher deductibles and premiums and so-called “narrow” networks, which limit the doctors patients can visit…Two lower-priced BCBSNC plans are available in northern Mecklenburg County, where Pollack lives. To her frustration, her family practice recommended against both plans, because the plans force patients to choose between either Novant Health doctors and hospitals or providers from Carolinas Healthcare System…These ‘narrow’ networks are how insurers negotiate deeper price discounts with doctors and hospitals, explained UNC-CH health economist Mark Holmes.” (Rose Hoban, “2015 Marketplace Plans Feature Higher Premiums, Less Choice,” North Carolina Health News, 11/18/15)