The Hill: CBO: ObamaCare premiums to rise 15%

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, health care premiums in ACA marketplaces are expected to rise an average of 15 percent and there will be three million more uninsured Americans between 2018 and 2019, as a result of Trump and Republicans’ health care sabotage.


The Hill: CBO: ObamaCare premiums to rise 15%


By Rachel Roubein


ObamaCare premiums are expected to rise an average of 15, an increase largely due to the GOP’s repeal of the individual mandate, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis released Wednesday.

CBO estimated premiums will be about 10 percent higher for 2019 due to gutting the requirement that Americans have health insurance or pay a fine. That’s because insurers are expecting healthy people to drop out of the marketplaces, leaving them with sicker enrollees in their plans, according to the nonpartisan agency.

CBO attributed the rest of the increase to rising health care costs and the lack of the insurers receiving a key ObamaCare payment compensating them for subsidizing the out-of-pocket costs for certain enrollees.

The price hikes don’t affect the majority of people with ObamaCare plans, as lower-income Americans receive federal subsidies to help cover their insurance.

Political rhetoric around ObamaCare premiums has ramped up in recent weeks, as the first states have unveiled proposed rates from insurance companies, some of which have shown double-digit rate hikes. Both parties are scrambling to blame the other for the increases, which won’t be finalized until early fall, about a month ahead of the midterm elections.

Democrats argue the prices hikes are the result of “GOP sabotage,” such as the repeal of the individual mandate. They say that Republicans control both Congress and the White House, and so they are to blame for increases in prices.

Republicans contend that Democrats were the ones who passed the law in the first place, without any GOP support. They blame Democrats for the failure to pass a bill to shore up the ObamaCare exchanges, though Democrats protest that characterization of why the legislation wasn’t able to become law.

CBO also projected that there will be three million more uninsured people between 2018 and 2019, largely due to the repeal of the individual mandate and higher premiums.

The agency estimated the ObamaCare marketplaces will be “stable in most areas of the country” over the next decade, yet that “stability may be fragile in some places.”