Insurance official to Congress: ObamaCare not collapsing


http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/349420-insurance-official-to-congress-obamacare-not-collapsing?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=10601

Insurance official to Congress: ObamaCare not collapsing

A Pennsylvania insurance official told Congress Wednesday that ObamaCare is not collapsing, as some Republicans have argued.

Speaking at a Senate Health Committee hearing on efforts to stabilize Affordable Care Act (ACA) markets, Teresa Miller, Pennsylvania’s acting Human Services secretary and former insurance commissioner, said that the notion is “just false.”

“I’m not going to sit here this morning and tell you that the ACA is perfect,” she said. “I think we all know that it’s not, but the narrative that the ACA is failing and imploding is just false.”

Miller, who works in the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, noted that insurers in the state filed average premium increases of just 8.8 percent for next year, and that most enrollees receive government subsidies to help them afford premium costs.

While there have been “difficulties” in the market, she said, “our individual market is not collapsing.”

Other states have encountered more problems with their markets, but every state is on track to have at least one insurer offering ObamaCare coverage in every county next year, after some worries that there would be empty counties.

The insurance commissioners testifying largely called for efforts to further stabilize ObamaCare markets, for example by funding key payments known as cost-sharing reductions, which President Trump has threatened to cancel.

Multiple commissioners also called for a program called reinsurance that provides government funding to bring down premiums by paying for part of especially sick enrollees’ claims.

The Senate Health Committee is trying to reach a deal on a bipartisan stabilization bill by the end of next week, a tough task on such a polarizing issue.

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