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Health care costs would have gone down this year if not for GOP’s repeated acts of health care sabotage, study finds

INDIANAPOLIS – Health care premiums for Americans would likely have gone down this year had it not been for the repeated acts of sabotage by Rep. Braun’s GOP allies in Congress that have instead caused rates to rise by double digits.

An Axios report on a new study from the Brookings Institution yesterday made clear while health care costs nationwide are rising steeply for next year, they likely would have fallen instead had Republicans in Congress and the administration simply left the health care system alone instead of working repeatedly to undermine it. If the regulatory status quo from the beginning of 2018 was left untouched, Brookings’ Matt Fielder wrote, insurers would have likely reduced premiums by an average of 4.3%.

Thanks to changes in the health care system contained in the McConnell tax plan that will cause premiums to rise substantially, introducing short-term “junk” plans that don’t include essential health benefits, and supporting a lawsuit that would strip protections for pre-existing conditions, the status quo Fielder described has been destroyed. Instead, health care rates for Hoosiers are expected to rise by double digits, and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has said rates nationwide may rise by as much as a third on average in the coming year. Meanwhile, “insurers are raking in the money this year, largely thanks to the very large premium hikes they enacted,” Axios reported.

Rep. Braun has been a strong proponent of the GOP’s sabotage that has contributed to the Hoosiers’ premium increases. He vocally backed the House’s disastrous health care overhaul bill last year and has made clear he plans to continue the GOP’s efforts to sabotage the system if elected to the Senate.

“Republicans like Rep. Braun have shown their hand on health care, and it’s clear their mission is to jack up our health care costs and take away coverage for hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “If elected, Rep. Braun wouldn’t just be a copy machine for Republicans’ disastrous health care agenda – he’d be leading the charge to make sure Hoosiers’ health care costs continue to skyrocket, their protections for pre-existing conditions are destroyed, and that HIP 2.0 is gutted.”

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