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HEADLINES: Congress Faces a Health Care “Fiasco” as American Rescue Plan Subsidies Are Set to Expire

By June 13, 2022No Comments

Millions of Americans Could Pay Thousands More on Their Health Premiums if Congress Fails to Act

The nation is on the verge of a health care crisis. The health care savings under the American Rescue Plan are set to expire, which would mean millions of Americans will see dramatic increases in their 2023 health insurance premiums. Vermont already gave us the first glimpse into how this will play out across the country after private insurers proposed rate increases as high as 24 percent. Failure to extend the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits means nine million Americans would pay more for their health care at a time families are already concerned about keeping up with rising costs — and as many as three million Americans could lose coverage altogether. 

Recent news coverage makes clear that if Congress fails to act soon, families could see their premiums skyrocket as they head to the polls in November. This is entirely preventable. Lawmakers must act now to ensure working families can continue to afford the health care they need. 

HEADLINES:

Politico: An Obamacare Fiasco Could Blow Up On Democrats Right Before The Midterms. “The price hikes would hit an estimated 13 million people across the country, potentially adding hundreds of dollars to families’ monthly expenses…voters would begin receiving notices about their premium increases in October — around the same time they’re starting to cast their midterm ballots…Health experts predict abruptly eliminating the subsidies would especially reverse the coverage gains among Black people and those who live in red states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. For millions more, their monthly premiums would potentially skyrocket.” [Politico, 5/20/22]

Washington Post: Here’s What Expiring Obamacare Subsidies Could Mean For Consumers. “For one, the number of uninsured Americans could increase…An estimated 3 million people with plans on the Obamacare marketplaces could become uninsured if the increased tax credits expire…” [Washington Post, 5/27/22]

Huffington Post: Democrats Have Little Time To Avert An Election-Eve Obamacare Premium Hike. “Health insurance premiums for millions of Americans will spike if Congress doesn’t act in the next few months, with particularly big increases in politically contested states…The assistance, which President Joe Biden and the Democrats enacted as part of last year’s COVID-19 relief program, has reduced premiums by hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars a year. But the assistance is set to end in December. If that happens, prices will go back up and consumers will start to learn about the increases in the fall.” [Huffington Post, 5/16/22]

Washington Post: Congress Is Under Pressure From State Marketplaces To Keep Obamacare Subsidies Higher. “They’re issuing warnings about large spikes in premiums — notices Americans could receive just weeks before the midterm elections. It’s a message roughly 17 directors of state-based Obamacare exchanges will make in meetings today with administration officials and on the Hill with top Democratic and Republican staff.” [Washington Post, 5/17/22]

Politico: The Subsidy Cliff Is Coming. “Millions of people who signed up for individual marketplace coverage this year could lose care or see big premium hikes in 2023 as the clock ticks for lawmakers to extend or formalize Affordable Care Act subsidies introduced during the public health emergency…Even if states act quickly in the absence of congressional action, people might not receive renewal information or know they qualify for other programs if they’re kicked off Medicaid…” [Politico, 5/26/22]

The Hill: Vulnerable House Democrats Urge Action To Prevent Obamacare Premium Hike This Fall. “‘These out-of-pocket cost increases are imminent: starting this autumn, when enrollees begin receiving notices of their premium increases for 2023 health plans, our constituents will find that the same high-quality coverage that they have been able to afford thanks to the American Rescue Plan will now be out of reach,’ the lawmakers write…If the enhanced subsidies are not extended, premium increases could be substantial. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that premiums would have been 53 percent higher on average this year without the extra financial assistance.” [The Hill, 5/23/22]

Politico: Dems Push For Obamacare Extension. “A group of more than two dozen vulnerable Democrats from swing districts is sounding the alarm on a major Obamacare shortfall set to kick in as voters head to the polls this fall…Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) leads the group that’s asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to employ reconciliation to fast-track legislation extending subsidies used to offset costs of insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace.” [Politico, 5/24/22]

Tampa Bay Times: 500,000 Floridians Could Lose Health Coverage Without Tax Credits, Study Warns. “The tax credits dramatically lowered premiums for millions of Florida families who this year obtained their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act…If lawmakers cannot reach an agreement, premiums could rise by 53% in 2023, forcing millions of Americans to go without health insurance. Florida would be one of the states hardest hit…” [Tampa Bay Times, 6/6/22]

Concord Monitor (Opinion): We Need Permanent Healthcare Subsidies. “For vulnerable or at-risk populations for which any illness could turn into a medical emergency, it’s a life-or-death matter when it comes to the ability to receive quick, affordable medical care. Health insurance tax credits have helped get people the care they need through affordable health coverage. We must continue this program so more people can take advantage of them not just now, but in the years to come. This only happens if Congress acts with haste to make them permanent before the August recess.” [Concord Monitor, 6/5/22]

Becker’s Hospital Review: Healthcare Spending Will Drop $11.4B, Over 3 Million To Lose Insurance If Arpa Tax Credits Expire, Study Finds. “3.1 million people will become uninsured if Congress does not extend the American Rescue Plan Act subsidies established last year…” [Becker’s Hospital Review, 5/25/22]

Business Insider: West Virginians Will See The Biggest Spike In Obamacare Premiums Within Months If Manchin Keeps Blocking Biden’s Economic Agenda. “In West Virginia, people would see an average premium hike of $1,536 per person…With ACA open enrollment kicking off on Nov. 1, many Americans would see the eye-popping premium increases for 2023 just a week before casting votes in the midterms.” [Business Insider, 5/16/22]

Kaiser Health News: New Covered California Leader Urges Renewal Of Enhanced Federal Aid For Health Premiums. “The extra dollars reduced the average monthly premium cost to Covered California enrollees by 20% this year compared with 2021, according to estimates from the exchange. And the lower cost helped push enrollment to a record 1.8 million this year. Nationally, the average premium cost for marketplace enrollees dropped 23%, and enrollment rose to 14.5 million, also a record. Altman fears that without the continued support, the cost to consumers will rise sharply, and many people will forgo coverage. It’s why she says one of her first tasks is to push Congress for an extension of the American Rescue Plan subsidies.” [Kaiser Health News, 5/18/22]

Florida Politics: Expiration Of Public Health Emergency, Enhanced Tax Credits Could Surge State’s Uninsured Rolls. “There’s a ‘perfect storm’ brewing that could lead to hundreds of thousands of Florida residents losing their health insurance coverage…costs of health insurance premiums could soar by 53% for more than 2.5 million people if Congress does not make permanent the enhanced subsidies that were included in the American Rescue Plan.” [Florida Politics, 5/19/22]

Health News Florida: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Florida Residents May Become Uninsured In 2023 Without Premium Tax Credits. “If you create a situation where coverage is so unaffordable that only really sick people want to be in it, you’re going to then raise premiums and you’re going to make that situation a little bit worse every year because every year premiums will get higher. So it’s bad for individuals and it’s bad for the market as a whole when premiums go up.” [Health News Florida, 5/11/22]

Cincinnati Enquirer (Opinion): Make Health Care Tax Credits Permanent. “Half of Americans worry about keeping up with health care costs, not only because it drains our bank accounts, but because we literally can’t live without it…the American Rescue Plan made health care premiums more affordable than ever. These tax credits have been a crucial lifeline for families during the pandemic, and now is the time to make them permanent.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/21/22]