April 28, 2016

FLASHBACK: With Significant Premium Increases On The Horizon, Clinton Shrugged Off A Voter’s Concern

In March, Hillary Clinton was confronted at a CNN town hall by a woman who has suffered hardships due to Obamacare. Clinton likes to say that “before it was Obamacare, it was Hillarycare,” yet in the face of a voter’s story of her skyrocketing health care costs, her only response was to tell this woman to “keep shopping.”

If Hillary Clinton’s response was terrible back in March, it’s now even more tone-deaf. A new report on Obamacare premiums by the Associated Press shows that insurers are preparing to significantly increase health insurance premiums for next year:

“Expect insurers to seek significant premium increases under President Barack Obama’s health care law, in a wave of state-level requests rippling across the country ahead of the political conventions this summer. Insurers say the law’s coverage has been a financial drain for many of them, and they’re setting the stage for 2017 hikes that in some cases could reach well into the double digits.”

While it’s still early in the 2017 health insurance premium reporting period, some states are showing projected premium increases of 37%:

“For example in Virginia, a state that reports early, nine insurers returning to the HealthCare.gov marketplace are seeking average premium increases that range from 9.4 percent to 37.1 percent. Those initial estimates filed with the state may change.”

The questioner at the March town hall was also someone who purchased insurance directly. According to the AP report, they are going to be even harder hit by the 2017 increases:

“Standard & Poor’s health insurance analyst Deep Banerjee said he expects premium hikes to be higher for 2017 than in the more stable market for employer coverage. Insurers are facing higher medical costs from health law customers, and companies priced their initial coverage too low in an attempt to grab new business.”

While Hillary Clinton’s big money private speeches have inoculated her from the damage a 37% health insurance premium increase can do to a person’s financial security, most Americans don’t have that luxury. Clinton’s culpability for Obamacare is an issue that is sure to be on voters’ minds in the fall.