Seema Verma: Americans ‘Fleeing’ Obamacare Exchanges ‘Sky-High’ Premiums

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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma said Monday that Americans continue to flee the Obamacare exchanges because the “sky-high premiums” are too “unaffordable.”

The CMS released two reports Monday that found that Obamacare enrollment remained steady in both 2018 and 2019, while average 2019 exchange premiums declined by a small degree.

However, Obamacare state exchanges faced significant challenges for Americans that do not qualify for the Obamacare advance premium tax credit (APTC) and must pay the entire health insurance premium themselves. One study found that, between 2016 and 2018, 2.5 million Americans without Obamacare subsidies left the exchanges, which represents a 40 percent drop.

Administrator Verma said that the current exodus proves that Obamacare’s premiums remain too expensive for millions of Americans.

“As President Trump predicted, people are fleeing the individual market. Obamacare is failing the American people, and the ongoing exodus of the unsubsidized population from the market proves that Obamacare’s sky-high premiums are unaffordable,” said Verma in a statement Monday.

The CMS’s Subsidized and Unsubsidized Enrollment Report showcases that the Obamacare exchanges continue to price Americans out of the individual health insurance markets. In 2017, 1.3 million unsubsidized Americans left the exchanges, while another 1.2 million left the market in 2018. Both of these enrollment declines coincide with increases of average monthly premium increases of 21 percent in2017 and 26 percent in 2018.

Americans began to leave the Obamacare exchanges starting in the 2015 to 2016 period for unsubsidized American enrollees. Further, 43 states saw decreases in unsubsidized enrollment from 2016 to 2017, and 47 states saw a decline from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, nine states, including Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and West Virginia, lost more 40 percent of their unsubsidized enrollment.

 While Obamacare remains too expensive for many Americans, the Trump administration has pursued healthcare reforms that would offer Americans more affordable alternatives to Obamacare.

The White House released a rule in June that would expand health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) that would allow small businesses to offer health insurance to their employees. The administration estimates that up to 800,000 employers, and more than 11 million workers and family members, will benefit from the healthcare expansion.

The Trump administration also expanded short-term health insurance plans. The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) study found that short-term plans could cost 80 percent less than Obamacare “bronze” plans.

Trump’s latest healthcare reform arises as he promised Republicans will become the party of “health care” and that the White House reportedly will release their health care plan in September.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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