By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, May 24, 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) released a report on the rising cost of health premiums as a result of Obamacare taxes, regulations, and mandates. Alabama residents were the hardest hit on a percentage basis in the entire country. According to the HHS report, Alabama residents experienced a 223 percent increase in premium costs since Obamacare implementation in 2013.
US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said in a statement, “Today, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a sobering report on premium hikes for Americans due to ObamaCare taxes, regulations, and mandates. According to the report, nationwide individual market premiums increased 105 percent – meaning health insurance premium costs more than doubled. In dollar amounts, nationwide annual health insurance premiums rose on average $2,928 per policy. ObamaCare damaged Alabama more than any other state in America. In Alabama, health insurance cost increased a staggering and obscene 223 percent. That is not a ‘first’ Alabama citizens want or can afford. Alabama’s skyrocketing health insurance cost increases severely undermine the ability of Alabama citizens to access healthcare and take care of their own families.”
US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said in her own statement, “The numbers are staggering. Insurance premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed due to the regulations and mandates imposed by Obamacare,” Roby said. “Providers have been forced out of the market, and Alabama consumers now only have one option for health insurance. Problems like these are why I worked to help build support for our three-step plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said on social media, “According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Alabama has led the nation in health insurance increases under Obamacare. This just further demonstrates the need to repeal and replace the failed law. Under our plan, the American Health Care Act, premiums are expected to drop and individuals would no longer be punished for not having insurance if they don’t want it.”
Congressman Brooks “When people ask me why I insist on a full repeal of ObamaCare, a 223 percent hike in health insurance premium costs says it all. It does no good to have a perfect health insurance plan if you can’t afford to buy it. That’s why I stood strong in the face of fierce headwinds and criticism, and fought so hard to successfully amend the original Republican healthcare bill so that it will decrease premiums, not increase them on already overburdened and stressed Alabama families. It is those kinds of conservative improvements I hope my colleagues in the Senate will maintain and build upon to lower insurance costs for struggling Americans.”
Earlier this month the US House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill is currently in the Senate where changes are expected. Republicans say that the American Healthcare Act is the first of a three-phase plan by Republicans in Congress and the Trump Administration to repeal and replace Obamacare. Upon enactment of the AHCA, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will begin using his authority to unravel the web of Obamacare rules and regulations that drive up patient costs. Republicans are promising that Congress will take up legislation to further bring down costs through proposals such as allowing insurance competition across state lines and options for health care portability.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama has well over 90 percent of the private health care insurance market in Alabama.
Congressman Mo Brooks is running for the US Senate in the special election. He represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District, while Congressman Byrne represents the First Congressional District.