Americans Deserve Transparency on Health Premium Increases

Washington, D.C. – Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) released the following statement regarding the new report from the Department of Health and Human Services that ignores data about premium increases that will result from the new health law:

“This is simple math.  According to CBO, the net impact of the new health care law is a 13 percent increase in premiums,” said Enzi, one of the two Senate accountants.  This equals a $2,100 increase for families purchasing coverage on their own. 

The new HHS report cites Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data but ignores CBO’s conclusion that premiums will increase by $2,100 for families purchasing coverage. The HHS report cherry picks some data from a CBO letter sent on November 30, 2009, but omits the section demonstrating  that mandated benefit packages will actually increase premiums. CBO’s bottom line conclusion is that premiums will increase by 10 to 13 percent. The argument that this new law will decrease premiums demonstrates either a lack of understanding of the CBO report or basic math.

CBO did say that premiums would go down 7 to 10 percent due to insurance market changes.  They also said that premiums would go down another 7 to 10 percent because healthier people would sign up for insurance.  The HHS report forgets to mention, however, that CBO also said that premiums would go up by 27 to 30 percent because the bill requires most Americans to purchase more expensive government mandated benefit packages.

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