Republicans, Democrats Duel Over ACA’s Anticipated Impact On Premiums.

Republicans, Democrats Duel Over ACA’s Anticipated Impact On Premiums.

On Monday, as House Republicans prepared to hold a hearing on what they claim will be huge premium increases under the Affordable Care Act, Democrats and their allies circulated a pair of studies pushing back against this notion. The beltway publications offer coverage of both analyses, as well as the Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing.

        First, Politico Pro Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/21, Norman) reports that the Center for American Progress published an analysis Share toFacebookShare to Twitter Monday which pushes back “against the warnings of premium ‘sticker shock’ on the exchanges next year.” The left-leaning think tank’s study found that just “3 percent of 19- to 29-year-old Americans would see their premiums go up” as the Affordable Care Act kicks in next year, as long as “the premiums subsidies available to lower income consumers are taken into account.” Moreover, Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California touted a similar study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter Monday which showed that in the five states that have so far released insurers’ proposed premiums for the exchanges, the “average consumer would save substantially in many cases.” Both reports came as the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee was set to hold a hearing to discuss the so-called rate shock.

        The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/21, Baker) “Healthwatch” blog reports that in the study touted by Waxman, “premiums will likely stay the same, or even fall, once the health law is fully in place.” However, as the blog points out, “those filings come only from states where insurance is already heavily regulated — data are not yet available in states where bigger increases are more likely.”

        And, The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/21, Baker) “Healthwatch” blog reports that the Center for American Progress analysis shows that higher premiums will “only affect about 3 percent of people between ages 19 and 29.”

        CQ Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/21, Reichard, Subscription Publication) reports that at the hearing Monday, “Republicans showcased a report that they prepared predicting ‘massive premium increases’ awaiting Americans when the full effects of the health care law take effect in eight months.” Given the dueling nature of analyses coming from both sides, CQ predicts that “clarity is likely to emerge only much later this year when actual rates that will be charged around the country are much more widely available.”

        Modern Healthcare Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (5/21, Block, Subscription Publication) reports that at the hearing, Waxman introduced the analysis by saying, “In Oregon, rates for those who stay in comparable plans are expected to fall by up to 11%. In Washington, consumers are likely to see average reductions up to 25%.” The other three states the study looked at were Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont.