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Back To The Future: Flashback To 2016 Shows News of Premium Hikes Could Fuel Republican Gains in November

By July 11, 2022No Comments

Next year, millions of Americans will see dramatic increases in their health care costs if Congress fails to extend the enhanced premium tax credits in the American Rescue Plan — and millions will no longer be able to afford insurance at all. We’ve seen the consequences of rising premiums in an election year before. In 2016, damaging stories about premium hikes flooded the news just before voters went to the polls. These stories only benefited Republicans, who pointed to cost increases as evidence that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed entirely. 

Now, history is repeating itself. As election season approaches, news of impending premium increases are only becoming more prevalent. Open enrollment for 2023 plans begins on November 1, 2022, a week before Election Day — and rate increases are being finalized now.  Experts say insurers are likely to seek double digit increases in state after state, which means that families could pay hundreds, or even thousands of dollars more per month.  

If Congress does not act soon, news of premiums skyrocketing will be front and center as Americans prepare to go to the polls this fall. Congress must move swiftly to prevent skyrocketing premium increases and protect health coverage for millions. 

Below is a sampling of national and local headlines from the fall of 2016 showing the impact of premium spikes on the political environment:

REPUBLICANS MADE POLITICAL HAY FROM PREMIUM SPIKES IN 2016

  • BenefitsPRO: Trump Finds Opportunity In ACA Premium Increases. [BenefitsPRO, 10/26/16
  • CNN: Republicans Go On Offense Over Obamacare. [CNN, 10/25/16
  • Fox News: Republicans Blast Obamacare After Premium Hike Announcement. [Fox News, 10/25/16
  • Washington Post: Obamacare Premium Hikes Could Be Good News For Republicans. But Just How Good? [Washington Post, 10/25/16
  • Washington Times: Republicans Hope Obamacare Complications Will Flip Key States. [Washington Times, 10/30/16

NATIONAL HEADLINES

  • BenefitsPRO: ACA Premiums Could Increase For As Many As 8.4 Million. [BenefitsPRO, 11/7/16
  • CNN: Obamacare Premiums to Soar 22% [CNN, 10/25/16
  • New York Times: Some Health Plan Costs to Increase By An Average Of 25 Percent, U.S. Says. [New York Times, 10/24/16]
  • PBS: Obama Administration Announces Double-Digit Premium Hikes For Affordable Care Act [PBS, 10/24/16
  • Reuters: Obamacare Premiums for 2017 Jumped 25% on Healthcare.gov [Reuters, 10/25/16
  • Washington Post: Average Premiums For Popular ACA Plans Rising 25 Percent. [Washington Post, 10/24/16
  • Washington Post: Where Obamacare Prices Are Rising Dramatically [Washington Post, 11/1/16

STATE HEADLINES

ARIZONA

  • CBS: Arizona Obamacare Plan To Jump By 116 Percent When Premiums Go Up Next Year. [CBS, 10/26/16
  • New York Times: Increase in Health Act Premiums May Affect Arizona Vote. [New York Times, 10/13/16

CALIFORNIA

  • Los Angeles Times: Some Californians See Health Premiums Rise Sharply As Obamacare Enrollment Nears. [Los Angeles Times, 10/28/16

COLORADO 

  • Denver Post: Colorado Health-Insurance Rates To Jump 20 Percent On Average For Individual Buyers In 2017. [Denver Post, 9/20/16

FLORIDA

  • Associated Press: Florida Insurers Seek Rate Increases For Obamacare Plans [Associated Press, 5/26/16

IOWA

  • Des Moines Register: Wellmark Plans 38% To 43% Increases For Some Customers [Des Moines Register, 5/12/16

MINNESOTA

  • St. Paul Pioneer Press: ‘Emergency’ For Minnesota As Huge Insurance Premium Hikes Confirmed. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 9/30/16
  • St. Paul Pioneer Press: Minnesota’s Health Insurance Premium Hike Is Fourth-Highest In Nation [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 10/24/16

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Charlotte Observer: NC Blue Cross Announces Rate Increase Of 24.3 Percent For Aca Marketplace Plans. [Charlotte Observer, 10/17/16

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Wheeling News Register: West Virginia to Feel the Pain Of Health Insurance Hikes [Wheeling News Register, 10/26/16