Insurers warn Cruz provision will 'skyrocket' premiums for sick people

Insurers warn Cruz provision will 'skyrocket' premiums for sick people

Insurers warn Cruz provision will 'skyrocket' premiums for sick people

"Imagine if vehicle insurance companies were required to charge everyone the same auto insurance rate regardless of how likely they were to get into an accident", Lee, a Utah Republican said Wednesday night, The Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

But while the suggestion could win over right-leaning holdouts before a planned vote on the legislation next week, it has alienated more moderate Republican senators like West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito and Iowa's Chuck Grassley. They plan to introduce a revised Better Care Reconciliation Act bill on Thursday.

However, addiction experts say those with drug problems would still be hurt by Medicaid cuts because they suffer from depression and other health problems that contribute to their addiction.

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"This proposal would fracture and segment insurance markets into separate risk pools and create an unlevel playing field that would lead to widespread adverse selection and unstable health insurance markets", the group America's Health Insurance Plans wrote in a memo. The amendment would let insurers bypass consumer protections and once again vary premiums based on health history or deny coverage outright. That includes annual and lifetime caps on what policies will pay for care, restrictions on pre-existing conditions, limits on the kind of care eligible for coverage, including hospital stays, mental health treatment and more.

Many on the exchanges would be shielded from the rate hikes because they receive federal subsidies, but that would leave the government and taxpayers bearing the burden of the higher premiums. For people who didn't qualify for assistance ― because their incomes exceeded 350 percent of the poverty line, or $86,100 for a family of four in 2017 ― the prices would become unaffordable, the insurer groups explained. Health insurers would also be forced to apply two totally different models to the same risk pool, which some say would be incredibly hard and costly to accomplish. With the well no longer subsidizing the sick, the latter may face ever-escalating premiums or fewer choices entirely if insurers no longer are required to sell to anyone who wants to buy a policy.

DeMint added that the Cruz-Lee amendment could save Americans from skyrocketing premiums.

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The Senate plan provides an additional $70 billion in funding to states to stabilize the market and lower premiums for high-cost enrollees, bringing the total to $182 billion. But moderates have anxious it will cause people with serious illnesses to lose coverage, and some conservatives say it doesn't go far enough.

The amendment is being included in the draft bill Thursday, but could be stripped from the bill before a final vote occurs.

Cruz and the amendment's other supporters in the Senate said the concept would allow insurers to offer a wider variety of coverage options and help lower premiums. Not a single one of the Senate's 48 Democratic or independent members supports the bill.

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The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan entity that scores legislation for impact and cost, considers people with these policies to be uninsured, "because they do not have financial protection from major medical risks". "There are a lot of people with great needs in this country". The Club for Growth, Tea Party Patriots, and FreedomWorks said that without an option for individuals to opt out of current insurance rules, the Senate bill would amount to perpetuating "Obamacare". The legislation's fate will then depend on whether McConnell can rustle 52 votes in favor of it.

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