Rep. Poliquin’s Statement on Anthem Leaving Nearly All of Maine’s Obamacare Marketplace
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) released the following statement in response to the announcement from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield that they will pull out of the marketplace across Maine except for Aroostook, Hancock, and Washington Counties:
“Insurers like Anthem have continuously warned that they would pull out of the marketplace if nothing was done to fix the serious flaws in the Obamacare law, and Anthem has specifically cited support for legislation in Congress to do so,” said Congressman Poliquin. “I have offered my own 14-point solutions to Obamacare’s serious flaws and have acted in Congress to provide relief for Mainers who are suffering and will continue to suffer under the failures of this healthcare law, despite repeated inaction by the Senate.
“It is also important to note that Anthem and other insurers presented large premium increases in Maine prior to last year’s election.
“It is now time for the Senate to act on some type of plan to address the flaws in Obamacare, the ACA, and fix the law. We need a fix and the first place to accomplish that is going to be in the Senate.
“My colleague Senator Susan Collins put it well in her speech on the Senate Floor on January 23, saying in part, ‘the system created by the [Obamacare] law is under tremendous financial stress. The Obamacare exchanges are on the verge of collapse in many States. The reality is that significant changes must be made; doing nothing is not an option.’”
“It is unacceptable to do nothing. I continue to stand ready to work with anybody and everybody to act in Congress so that Mainers can be provided relief from the serious flaws of the Obamacare healthcare law.”
- On March 9, 2017, Anthem President & CEO Joseph R. Swedish laid out his support in detail for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) citing specifically how it addresses the continuation of Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) subsidies, and warning of Anthem’s ‘surgical’ extraction if nothing is done on health care and urging action:
"The time to act is now. The American Health Care Act addresses the challenges immediately facing the Individual market and will ensure more affordable health plan choices for consumers in the short term, including through the expanded use of health savings accounts (HSAs). Among the provisions in the American Health Care Act that will help achieve these objectives and are critically important:
- Establishment of the Patient and State Stability Fund;
- Repeal of the ACA’s Health Insurance Tax;
- Continuation of the Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) subsidies; and,
- Allowing the use of tax credits for “off exchange” health plans
CLICK HERE to see Anthem President & CEO Joseph Swedish’s full letter.
- On January 23, 2017, Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate Floor urging for something to be done to fix the flaws in Obamacare:
“…the system created by the law is under tremendous financial stress. The Obamacare exchanges are on the verge of collapse in many States. The reality is that significant changes must be made; doing nothing is not an option.”
“I am pleased to see a growing consensus among Members of both the Senate and the House that we must fix the Affordable Care Act and provide reforms at nearly the same time that we repeal the law.”
“It is also important to carefully consider the effects that Obamacare’s Medicare cuts have had on providers like rural hospitals and home health agencies, many of whom are struggling. In sum, prices are skyrocketing, coverage is narrowing, and the individual market is likely in a death spiral if Congress does not act.”
- On May 11, 2016—prior to the November election—the Portland Press Herald reported “Maine insurers request double-digit increases for government health plans:”
“According to the rate filings proposed for 2017 individual plan coverage, […] Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is requesting 14.1 percent.”
- Also on May 11, 2016, the Bangor Daily News reported “Obamacare insurers request double-digit rate hikes in Maine:”
“Insurers on the federal health insurance exchange serving Maine have requested double-digit rate increases for 2017 in filings submitted Wednesday to state regulators.”
Additional Items to Note:
- May 2015: Rep. Poliquin offers 14 free market solutions to ObamaCare
- March 2017: Anthem President and CEO sends letter to Members of Congress warning of Anthem’s ‘surgical’ extraction if nothing is done on health care and urging action