INDIANAPOLIS – Exactly one year ago this week, Republican politicians like Congressmen Rokita and Messer and Rep. Braun started their largest push yet to dismantle our country’s health care system.
Over the last 52 weeks, all three GOP Senate candidates co-sponsored, voted for, or voiced support for congressional Republican’s plan to dismantle the nation’s health care system that would raise Hoosier premiums by an average of $1,000. The House plan also would have kicked roughly 400,000 Hoosiers off their health care and even allowed insurers to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions, causing premiums to skyrocket to unaffordable levels for those who have diabetes or are cancer survivors.
The GOP health care overhaul also would have cut nearly $800 billion from Medicaid over ten years, gutting HIP 2.0, debilitating our efforts to fight the scourge of opioid abuse, and harming Hoosiers at every stage of their lives.
When their disastrous health care overhaul was voted down, Republicans responded by sabotaging the health care marketplaces, sending rates rising by double digits in an attempt to make the massive premium increases that would result from their plan look more palatable. Republicans shortened this year’s enrollment window and cut off crucial payments for low-income Hoosiers built into the system that were intended to keep costs down. Bipartisan efforts to restore those payments have been blocked by Republican leaders in Washington.
Republicans like Congressmen Messer and Rokita and Rep. Braun also supported the McConnell Tax Plan, which will cause higher premiums when 13 million go without health insurance thanks to the bill. The biggest beneficiaries of the law won’t be Hoosiers, but the health insurers raising their rates by double digits.
While their legislation failed, their plan to make Hoosiers pay for that failure with higher premiums seems to be working. A recent report on the Republican efforts said that premiums will rise by as much as 50% in Indiana by 2021. Insurers have laid the blame at Republicans’ feet, with one saying that in a normal year, it would only have to raise rates by two percent – but thanks to the unclear environment, it needed to raise them by more than 15% instead.
“Over the last year, the Republicans have done massive damage to our nation’s health care system at the expense of working Hoosier families,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “When their disastrous health care overhaul failed, they changed tactics and are now causing Hoosiers’ rates to skyrocket purely for political gain. We need officials who’ll work together to improve our health care system instead of spending year after year trying to tear it down.”