Insurance experts testify before House panel on Obamacare’s effects

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) heard testimony from a panel of health care insurance experts during a House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, questioning them on the effects of Obamacare on U.S. citizens.

The Affordable Care Act was sold to the American public based on two basic premises. First, it was expected to expand the availability of insurance coverage based on subsidies and other mandates. The second promise was that Obamacare would lower the cost of health insurance for a typical American family, up to $2,500 per year.

However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has reported that proposed insurance-premium rates will rise up to 61 percent in some states by 2016. With a full year of claims costs and data under their belt, insurers are realizing that they must increase rates, an issue that creates concern among lawmakers.

“As a CPA with over 25 years of experience in the health care industry, I know firsthand how destructive aspects of this health care law have been,” Renacci said. “We need to protect families and patients from financial strain due to increased health insurance costs.”

“Time and time again, I’ve heard from constituents about their rising premium costs, tax increases, loss of their primary physician and the burdens imposed on business owners,” Renacci said. “If a family has an insurance card, but can’t afford to actually use it, they don’t really have coverage. Since being elected to Congress, I have fought to restore consumer choice and reduce costs, while also consistently supporting transitioning out of Obamacare to common-sense, market-centered solutions.”

During the hearing, the committee reviewed testimony from a number of key witnesses and experts, including Seth Chandler, an insurance law professor at the University of Houston who authors the blog; Julie McPeak, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance; Al Redmer, Jr., commissioner of the Maryland Insurance Administration; and Mike Kreidler, commissioner of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.