New Survey Shows that Family Health Care Premiums Surging

“As American Families Suffer, President’s Plan Does Nothing to Control Health Costs”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said that a new independent survey of employers highlights how the new health care law is failing to deliver on its promise of lowering health care costs. A new health benefits survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed the most recent average annual premiums for family health benefits have surged 9 percent, while the number of small firms offering health insurance has dropped 11 percent.

“As American families struggle to make ends meet, they are being shackled with skyrocketing health care premiums which have risen faster than incomes.  In fact, the new health care law has done nothing to control costs,” said Senator Enzi.  “We can all recall when President Obama promised his health care law would decrease premiums for American families by $2500.  Instead, because of the reams of requirements, red tape, and regulations resulting from the President’s health care law, premiums are surging 9 percent this year.  Next year will probably be even worse.”

Senator Enzi noted that the slew of new benefit mandates that will likely be included in the “essential health benefits packages” would further increase costs.  New taxes on medical devices, prescription drugs, and health plans, as well as rigid rules dictating how much premiums can vary for young and old Americans, will also drive up costs for younger Americans and render coverage unaffordable. 

“We need real health care reform.  That includes changing how Medicare works to focus on driving down costs.  It also means making changes that will help employers get better value for their workers’ health care benefits.  Until these kinds of reform actually happen, we will continue to see more reports like this one,” Senator Enzi said. “The one bit of good news in this report is the fact more Americans are voting with their feet and enrolling in consumer friendly, high deductible health plans.  But these plans are in jeopardy because of the new Medical Loss Ratio included in the health reform law, which may take away this choice and make these affordable plans obsolete.”

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