A different future for Health care
It's no wonder why more than half of Americans oppose Obamacare. Week after week, I talk with South Dakotans who are seeing their health insurance premiums increase by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars per year. Despite the cost hikes, ma...
It's no wonder why more than half of Americans oppose Obamacare. Week after week, I talk with South Dakotans who are seeing their health insurance premiums increase by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars per year. Despite the cost hikes, many are also finding that the 2017 options have larger deductibles, which often translates into higher out-of-pocket expenses too. Like I said, it's no wonder.
Today, we are in the middle of the fourth annual open enrollment period for Obamacare. Absent a major life event, this is the only time you have to obtain or change health insurance without facing a tax penalty.
For many South Dakotans returning to healthcare.gov this year, the numbers are pretty shocking. While the nation as a whole has seen a nearly 25 percent increase in the cost of health insurance premiums for 2017, a 27-year-old nonsmoker purchasing a middle tier plan in South Dakota will face a 39 percent price increase. That kind of cost surge has the potential to fundamentally alter a person's annual budget.
Additionally, some will find fewer options. For 2017 coverage, around one in five Americans will have only one insurer to choose from, a significant change from last year when just 2 percent of Americans were in the same boat. Insurers simply can't afford to be involved in the individual marketplace.
Earlier this year, we learned one insurer operating in South Dakota lost nearly $100 million over the last two years on individual Obamacare plans in Iowa and South Dakota alone. As a result, they made the decision to no longer offer these plans in 2017 - a decision that impacted nearly 8,000 South Dakotans.
Many have felt the pain of Obamacare and calls for the law's repeal have only grown. While around a dozen minor Obamacare repeals and reforms have been signed into law, this legislation is ultimately beyond repair.
It was widely understood that President Obama would not sign legislation repealing his health care law. Still, we put the option on his desk; he chose to veto it.
At the start of next year, however, I'm very hopeful Obamacare's repeal will finally become a reality, as it now sits not only at the top of Congress' agenda, but at the top of the incoming administration's agenda.
Alongside Obamacare repeal efforts, we've been working on conservative legislation to replace the health care law with a patient-centered approach. More specifically, our plan would allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines. The policy would help ensure you'd have more coverage options while also introducing greater competition into the marketplace to drive down prices.
Another idea would allow small businesses and individuals to band together through new pooling opportunities. That increases your purchasing power and would give groups more leverage to negotiate with insurers for lower prices.
Other components of our proposal would increase support for wellness programs, protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and allow young people to stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26.
Every American deserves access to quality, affordable health care, but experience shows that's not what Obamacare offers. We need to give people more choices, not more mandates, and we need to make sure you have the freedom and flexibility to find a plan that's going to work with your family's budget and needs. That's our vision, and step one in accomplishing it: Repeal Obamacare.