Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today on the proposed premium increases for 2017 submitted by the insurers still participating in the Arizona exchange to cover steeply rising costs and their increased losses stemming from Obamacare. According to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services, the average increase these insurers propose is more than 53 percent. In particular, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, which makes up 53 percent of the Arizona market, has requested an “average weighted increase” of nearly 65 percent. The Obamacare marketplace already led UnitedHealth and Humana to exit the marketplace in Arizona after reporting significant losses in previous years:
“The proposed premium rate hikes for the so-called Affordable Care Act in the Arizona marketplace confirm what we have known all along: Obamacare is anything but affordable. According to the numbers that the Department of Health and Human Services released today, health insurers providing health care coverage to Arizonans through the Obamacare exchanges need premiums to increase by an average of more than 53 percent to continue covering individuals and families in Arizona. That means hardworking Arizonans could soon face monthly health care bills mounting to hundreds of dollars more per month. What’s worse, Blue Cross Blue Shield, which provides health care to more than half of Arizonans enrolled in Obamacare and is the only remaining provider in eight Arizona counties, is proposing rate hikes as high as 88 percent in order to cover the skyrocketing costs of medical services and increased losses as a result of the health care law’s onerous regulations. With these staggering rate increases, Arizona now holds the dubious distinction of having the highest proposed premium increases for 2017 in the entire country to date.
“Since Obamacare was rammed through Congress without a single Republican vote, my colleagues and I have been warning that Obamacare would do nothing to bring down health care costs or improve access to care for American families. And year after year, we see premiums rise, health care options dwindle, and access decline while Democrats dig in their heels in order to protect the President’s legacy over the good of the country. I won’t stop fighting to repeal and replace the president’s health care law with solutions that work for the people of my state and urge both Republicans and Democrats who have seen these problems mount to join me.”