The GOP’s year-long health care sabotage will weigh heavily on health insurers as they file their initial applications to participate in the 2019 exchanges today, and the GOP’s continued efforts to dismantle the nation’s health care system will cause further uncertainty for the year to come.
Today marks the deadline for insurers to file initial applications to participate in the Indiana health care marketplaces for 2019. Hoosiers will also begin to find out if any plans are leaving or entering the exchange following changes to the health care environment over the past year.
The GOP has taken extraordinary steps over the past year to inject chaos into the health care system that may affect insurers’ participation in Indiana’s insurance marketplace next year. At every turn, Republicans have sabotaged the health care system; in just the last seven months alone, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have:
shortened and cut funding for the enrollment window;
undermined protections for pre-existing conditions;
tried to establish short-term junk plans that would exclude many legally-mandated essential health benefits and make it easier for insurance companies to discriminate against pre-existing conditions;
and passed the McConnell tax plan that will cause 13 million Americans to go without health care over the coming decade.
Rep. Braun has vocally backed the GOP’s sabotage efforts, even as premiums for Hoosiers have risen by double digits and millions of Americans are getting set to go without health care.
That continued damage caused by the GOP may further undermine Indiana’s health care marketplaces, just as it did last summer. Then, during the GOP efforts to pass their disastrous health care overhaul and the administration’s refusal to admit whether they’d continue crucial cost-sharing payments, two health insurance companies announced they were pulling out of the Indiana individual marketplace. Both companies cited efforts by Republicans in Congress to inject ‘uncertainty’ into the market as their rationale for leaving. Insurers today have no reason to be less concerned about the damage the GOP is still causing.
“For the last year, Hoosiers, health care providers, doctors and health insurers have all blamed Republicans for the sabotage and uncertainty that has damaged the health care system. They know Republicans like Rep. Braun don’t care how much premiums skyrocket or how many insurers are left in the Indiana market, so long as it furthers the GOP’s disastrous political agenda,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “As the process of rate setting begins again today, voters already know who’s responsible for next year’s soaring health care bills.”