Congressman Paulsen Disconnected from Reality, Continues to Demand Health Care Repeal

Despite the news this weekend that the Affordable Care Act’s website is vastly improved and is now working for the majority of Americans, Congressman Erik Paulsen continues to demand full repeal of the law, sending us back to the days when insurance companies could deny coverage and care, and raise rates with abandon.

The Obama administration announced this weekend that it had met a November 30th deadline to make sure that healthcare.gov is working for the vast majority of users. The website is helping Americans buy better health care plans with lower premiums, but despite these improvements, Congressman Paulsen refuses to back away from his calls for repeal, instead of working in a bipartisan way to make continued improvements. The New York Times headline this morning reports: “Obama Administration Says Health Care Website Is Vastly Improved.”

“Even with significant improvements to the web site and his constituents purchasing affordable health care, Congressman Paulsen continues to be a broken record in calling for repeal, vowing to send us back in time to the old system where insurance companies had free rein to discriminate, deny coverage, and hike rates,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “House Democrats are committed to making sure that health care works for the American people by offering any needed fixes, but instead of working in a bipartisan way to improve the law, Congressman Paulsen continues to blindly demand we return to the days when women could be charged more than men, children with preexisting conditions could be denied coverage, and insurance companies were free to raise costs to pad their own profits.”

BACKGROUND:

Repeal Would Allow Insurance Companies to Set Caps on Expenses Paid on Behalf of Patients. “Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to set limits on the dollar amount of health benefits that they will cover in a single year or over the course of a person’s lifetime. This means that you won’t run out of coverage if you develop a health problem that is costly to treat.” [Families USA, 9/23/10]

Repeal Would Allow Insurance Companies to Spend Unlimited Amounts of Premium Revenue on CEO Pay and Advertisements Instead of Containing Costs for Consumers. “The law requires insurance companies to spend more of your premium dollars on health care instead of administrative costs like CEO salaries and marketing. This is about ensuring health care value for your premium dollar. The provision, called the medical-loss ratio (MLR), requires insurance companies to spend 80% of premiums on your care. If they don’t, the insurance companies must send consumers a rebate. In the last two years, the MLR has saved consumers $3 billion.”  [Kaiser Family Foundation, 6/06/13]

Repeal Would Raise Health Insurance Costs by 6 Percent for Small Businesses. “The Rand report found that, with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, workers at firms employing fewer than 100 workers are expected pay almost 6 percent less in premiums in 2016 than without the health care reform law. Nationally, the report said, average premiums for equal plans would cost $5,837 with Obamacare in effect and $6,192 without it – a $355 savings under the Affordable Care Act. Premiums at large companies weren’t examined in the report.” [USA Today, 8/29/13]