From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:
Congressman Andy Harris, MD went on WBAL’s The C4 Show earlier today to discuss the news last week that Blue Cross Blue Shield of MD proposed raising health insurance rates between 25-150% for young/healthy people because of Obamacare. He also addressed the testimony that Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave last Thursday before the House Appropriations Committee he sits on regarding these rate hikes. In the interview, he refuted her claim that these rate hikes are “unlikely” because of “more competition.”
Listen to the radio interview here
Obamacare is Pricing Health Insurance Out of Affordability
“The bottom line is that if anybody is insured on the individual market they got a big surprise coming this fall because what the Affordable Care Act is going to do is shift all the high risk pool into the individual market. Whereas now it’s spread among everyone who gets insurance in the state, basically pays for that high risk pool that we have in Maryland because it’s done through a hospital tax that everybody has to pay. So now, we’re removing that method of paying for the high risk pool and shifting it virtually entirely onto the individual market, which is the market that actually healthy young people…go to buy insurance, especially if they are starting with an employer that doesn’t offer health insurance they have to go to the individual market…we’re just pricing it out of affordability.”
Sebelius Claim that Competition Will Bring Down Costs – Not Accurate
“The Secretary implies…that there will be more competition. Well, the agents I’ve talked to have said, and the brokers have said, that Blue Cross Blue Shield actually is probably going to be the lowest priced product because they know the market well…and that’s going to be up to 150% higher for a young healthy person which is exactly the kind of person you need to buy insurance in order to bring down the risk of the risk pool…it’s just not going to work.”
Obamacare Will Lead to Businesses Dropping Coverage
“This fall is just going to be a disaster for a lot of people as they try to figure out what’s happening to their healthcare insurance both from the small employers…as well as the employees. You will have a lot of people who are either dropped from the policies or can no longer afford these policies. When they go on the exchanges what you are going to do is transfer the costs of all this from employers, a lot of whom are paying for the costs now and a lot of them are going to wash their hands of health insurance and say look I can actually save money by paying the small penalty and sending the people to the exchanges and we’re going to as taxpayers have to bear that cost. So the estimates are going to be much much higher.
“It’s just getting worse and worse by the day…Max Baucus, the Senator who actually shepherded this through the Senate, actually said its going to be a train wreck”
Sal Grifasi says
I can’t understand why if all the problems Obamacare is causing that it is number one to be repealed. All it is doing is causing problems and not helping anyone or anything.
YOU ARE A TOTAL IGNORANT MORON IF YOU VOTED FOR OBAMA. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING! GOD HELP US ALL!!!
And you must be part of the brain trust that voted for Bush, twice. Thanks so much for your fear and ignorance.
The Money Tree says
Or that braintrust that voted for Obama twice – ooops that was Wendy Rosen.
Tried and Frustrated says
Pamela you have a right to your opinion, but truly you sound like the moron.
Both of you get thumbs down for epitomizing one of the several major problems in this country.
ALEX R says
As you well know the vast majority of people take as fact what the hear on the radio, see on TV or read on the Internet. And the PR machines go to work everyday and rely on this to shape public opinion. Should Obamacare be repealed? I would say yes because any 3000+ page law can’t possibly be read or understood by anyone. Should we have some significant change in healthcare? I believe we definitely should and we must, but Obamacare – the Affordable Care Act if you prefer – is not the answer. There are certainly sections of it that pander to special interest groups but overall the people didn’t want it, no one understands it, and the application of it is in the hands of politicians and political appointees. People are so frustrated that they no longer even want to be reasonable and speak reasonably because they have not been heard in the past. So they resort to moronic epithets. I fear that this will continue to deteriorate even further to all out class and cultural warfare and I can’t see a way back from that. America is on a path to a bad place. The only thing I believe for sure is that if you are an incumbent then you need to be voted out. Even the ones that I voted for in the past because generally they were the choice between 2 evils.
Saw a report today that 3 in 10 Americans feel there could be an armed revolt within 10 years.
Bad path indeed.
I saw a poll that said 21% of voters 18-30 think The aca was already repealed!
Why do politicians only point out the bad? The 150% rise is on a very small portion of policies. 60% will see little or no increase and some will see a reduction according to an article written by Jay Hancock at Kaiser Permanente. Google is your friend.
Another republican selling the fear, without any ideas on how to actually fix the problems.
The Money Tree says
It’s not just politicians pointing out the bad – you don’t add 30 million people to the health care system without significantly increasing costs and that’s a low estimate because if the immigration bill is passed it may be another 30 million people. That together with a decrease in the number of physicians both graduating and going into medicine to begin with makes it pretty obvious we’ll have increased costs and decreased care. Google is your friend.
Again with the fear sales pitch moneytree. Those 30 million will certainly add to the cost, they will also be paying a premium to cover that cost.
The Money Tree says
Let’s be logical Peggysue. If you add 30 million people to a medical system and almost all of them are low-skilled with limited english what do you think will happen when they don’t work and can’t come up with the $2700? Will they go to jail? Nope. Will we put a lien against thier property? Can’t because they have none. Will we deny them coverage? Nope. Unless somebody suddenly developes a magic way to pull golden eggs out of thier arse they become wards of medicaid. And who pays for medicaid? Perhaps not you.
You are loooney if you think the 30 million are all low skilled limited english speaking people, and a bigot too.
But sell the fear there are lots of people exactly like you that the politicians rely on every election day.
There is a large sum of taxpayer funds that will be used to SUBSIDIZE many of the millions of new entrants onto the healthcare scene. They will NOT be adding to our nation’s coffers. They will be subtracting. The biggest losers in this diabolical scheme are the middle class workers who already have health insurance. When this legislation was initially passed, policy rates increased dramatically. Beginning January 2014, another massive charge will be levied. Only the very wealthy, those that already receive government assistance, and of course our elected employees, will fiscally and physically come out of this horror unscathed. Senator Max Baucus (D) of Montana said it best when he described Obamacare as a train wreck. If only his hindsight was as useful as his foresight.
Mike B says
Have to jump in b/c while the individual market risk pool is indeed small, it’s where ALL the magic is supposed to happen. It’s where the uninsured will get their care, where those with pre-existing conditions will be transferred to, and . . . where the healthy, young invincibles are supposed to flock to balance out those that require much more medical care. So yes, the individual risk pool is small . . . but this law puts almost ALL the pressure of new enrollees onto the most unstable and historically most expensive health insurance risk pool.
So, would you be singing a different tune if you happened to be in the pool of the “very small portion of policies” to see the 150% rise in premiums?
I personally do not trust anything that has been written or said about the “Affordable Care Act”, since those doing the talking or writing have come to the table with their own agenda of what they want others to hear…..on both sides of the issue.
The proof of “affordability” for me will come when I actually see my rates go down, and the quality of care go up…..I mean, that’s the bill of goods we were sold, right?
I personally can’t imagine anything good coming out of 2,000 pages of “stuff” that most who voted for (and against) admittedly didn’t even read in its entirety. As the wise sage, Nancy Pelosi said, “you have to pass the bill if you want to find out what’s in it…”.
Actually I would love to be in that pool. Under 30 with a $2700 deductible and an annual policy cost of $1380.00
Sign me up.
Reply to Peggysue: My premium went up 110% ! What does THAT tell you about the Ovomit DEPLORABLE Health Care ? Also, you are obviously a low information voter. The fact is, Republicans offered up HUNDREDS of sane, productive, non-harmful solutions – but the DUMOCRATS shut them out and wouldn’t hear any of them – and THEN forced it down the whole country’s throat. And NOW they are trying to EXEMPT themselves! There is no end to their monstrous performance.
I’m sorry, maybe your neighbor’s smart meter is beginning to affect you adversely.
Yes one of the solutions was the exact plan we have! It was a GOP idea in the early 90’s! BTW some of the GOP was scared away when they went to meet by other TEA PARTY crazies. Like Collins and Snowe who abruptly canceled meetings with Obama!
ALEX R says
Google is often a liar and your attitude of a 150% rise is okay as long as you aren’t paying more is quite selfish of you.
Thank goodness, a government benefit that is fully funded, under budget and saves us money.
I keep hearing that congress and its staff want to be exempt from Obamacare! That companies are getting waivers. That should tell everyone all they need to know about Obamacare. Congress voted for it, why do they want to be exempt from it?
You ask “why do they want to be exempt from it?” Easy answer, they understand it better than any of us, and they don’t like it! Same reason Ms Pelosi (who needed to pass it in order to know what’s in it) has been obtaining exemptions and waivers for her constitutes in California. You know… those who don’t like it!!
Luther Lingus says
get ready for the next wave – 30 million illegals on Obama Care too.
As Polosi said: you have to pass Obamacare to know what’s in it. Obviously no congressman read that 3000+ page travesty before they voted for it and now the taxpayers are going to pay royally. Just wait until the 15 million new democrats( previously illegal aliens) start sucking up free healthcare, medicaid, etc. Or maybe they can use their free cellphones to call a doctor for a free house call.
former teacher says
What the hell does he care? The first thing he asked about when elected was when his health care would kick in. HIS health care….totally exclusive of Obamacare. When the Congress is forced to experience the health care system they voted in for the rest of us, maybe then the kinks will get worked out. Until then, stop with the fear tactics Harris and work out some solutions.
ALEX R says
Former Teacher, That’s great if only it were true. He didn’t ask that and you have been told that before by several others, with documentation, but you continue to tell the lie because it suits your Dem/Lib purpose. The only good thing I see about your post is the ‘former’ in former teacher. Thankfully you are no longer influencing our children. It is your buddies the Dems that forced Obamacare down the throats of the electorate and now you are going to have to live with it. Its the Republicans that are resisting Congress from exempting itself. And it is the Dems that want to be exempted while leaving you in the lurch.
Very true. The Dem’s trying to find a way to exempt themselves and their congressional staff from Obama care reveals something very telling. The common line of: If you like your current health care, you can keep it. Even Congress now understands that’s not true!
Clarification. He DID complain it took 30 days for his government provided healthcare to kick in. When many people are forced to wait 6 months before they can access theirs. He is at best, simply self serving. Glad you guys voted for him. Now ask him when he’s giving 5% of his pay to show solidarity with his constituents who will be experiencing the furlough – as opposed to the air traffic controllers who got an exception due to his outstanding representation of people with money who fly a lot. Sacrifice means nothing if only a few are required to sacrifice.
The Money Tree says
Gosh can’t imagine why somebody with 5 children might be interested in the timeline with their insurance. I’m with you – he’s got just a whole bunch of nerve asking about his benefits.
Doesn’t he have Tricare?
ALEX R says
The first question anyone should ask when changing jobs is about their medical insurance. When does it start? Because it is very, very stupid to go without medical insurance today. And one of the last decisions they have to make at their old job, who will cancel their health insurance effective the date they leave, is whether to invoke COBRA coverage so that there is no gap. Is that hard for anyone to understand?
Spare us the lecture on sacrifice. 40 percent of every dollar spent is borrowed, even with record revenue. More and deeper cuts are coming.
And more taxes. Suck it up.
I really have to disagree with you here. The original news article on this is from Politico, search it yourself. Most relevant part:
“Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.”
Harris’ OWN staffer quoted him. That’s pretty damn close to complaining. And really, more importantly, it speaks to the real underlying problem:
“Yet he still didn’t know that people often have to wait for their employer coverage after taking a new job. Congress “is the only employer I’ve worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman recounted him saying in the closed-door orientation session. Had Harris spoken to any other human being in his district about their real life experience with health care or employment, he would have easily been able to bridge his knowledge gap.”
That’s it. Full stop. He’s clueless, and that’s the guy people elected to represent them. They tried to spin this like he’s highlighting how inefficient government is (true), but that’s a LOAD of crap. The vast majority of employers, public and private, do not enroll new hires into health benefits for at least 30 days, many of them 90 or more.
The fact that someone with his kind of experience, and someone who works in the medical field doesn’t know anything about this raises all sorts of serious questions about his ability to represent his district capably.
I’ve met him. I’ve talked to him. He’s an idiot, plain and simple. The fact that he’s the best the Republicans can come up with to run in a now very safe district is a really sad commentary on many things.
I, for one, am anticipating filing for bankruptcy once Obamacare kicks in full force in order to be able to pay for those alleged cost increases. Can’t wait to start collecting social security. I’m entitled. LOL.
Tried and Frustrated says
A bunch of cry babies.
Of course you DO realize that we have been paying for the uninsured for decades. $2700 paid by even a few of these will be more than theyve been paying.
Sal Grifasi says
What I can’t understand is if a great majority is against Obamacare and I realize Obama will veto it and most elected officials are against it, and it is hurting the country, still why isn’t it in the process of being repealed and or there should be a physical revolt.
Because the majority is NOT against it. As indicated by Obama’s reelection.
Why the negs? Just stating facts, as sad as those facts may be.
The reason it is not being repealed is because too many numb and dumb low-information voters don’t even know that it has been implemented yet. There was a poll that indicated 43% were not aware it had been started. This is what happens when people watch American Idol and keep their heads stuck in the sand. They will know soon enough, as the remainder of the vile, abusive policies take effect in 2014. Maybe then, they will come up for air and turn their TV’s off (DUH…WHAT HAPPENED…WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS?)
Hard to believe some of the comments on here are written by people over 12 years of age. It’s telling that most of the right wing arguments are laced with name calling and insults. Guess they pick that up from their AM radio talk shows.
We’ve been paying for the uninsured masses for years, through higher premiums. We’ve had our medical diagnosis micro managed and our treatments denied as well, by insurance companies. Of course not a word is spoken by the right wing extremists about this fact because insurance corporations were profiting nicely.
My insurance hasn’t gone up, I’m not hindered by the pre-existing condition clause, and my kids are able to continue to benefit from my coverage for years to come.
Change happens in increments, Americas health care system is a mess. We have to start somewhere.
The Money Tree says
I’m so happy your 26 year old adult children who may in fact be working at another job and could and should pay thier own way will be covered by “your” policy – the one that I actually pay for with higher rates. Are you just that stupid that you think widening the pool of people who receive care will result in lower costs? Jeez don’t tell me you have any position of authority with such a profound inability to be logical.
Mike Welsh says
Since we have been paying for the uninsured masses for years, through higher premiums, should we not expect that our premiums would go down significantly now that the uninsured are receiving their own health insurance? You say that your premiums have not gone up. Great. But in reality your premium should go down significantly since you will no longer pay for the previously uninsured. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
The Money Tree says
The oft used mantra that rates won’t change because we were paying for these folks before isn’t based upon any proven study or collected data; it’s a hope and a prayer and sounds good on paper so it was sold that way. Fact is we don’t know how bad it might end up being; but if several Senators who previously supported it are now calling it a “trainwreck” I’d suspect it ain’t all gonna turn out so well and some of those that supported it are starting to run for cover.
The Money Tree says
It’s not just the uninsured but subsidies also provided to middle class families. In otherwords Obamacare is built around the idea of sliding scale where people with more money pay more. This article suggests 26 million could have their premiums subsidized by the government (eg. other premium holders) who heretofore would have paid the bill in it’s entirety. That is new and that changes the dynamic.
To Doug104: There ya go…. ‘have to start somewhere’. What a ringing endorsement for IDIOCY.
DUH – here’s the edge of a cliff and we HAVE to start SOMEWHERE so we have no choice but to put our foot RIGHT OVER THE CLIFF, AND WE MUST DO IT RIGHT NOW.
No one is saying the healthcare system doesn’t have problems you moron. The point you are obviously incapable of understanding is that the Ovomit Deplorable Health Care Act DESTROYS the good along with the bad. THAT is NOT a solution! With even just 3 simple measures, there could have been VAST improvements without harm ie. 1) tort reform 2) removal of fraud and waste and 3) competition among states. OR, for brain-challenged people like you, another way to put it is: If you have an ingrown toe-nail, you don’t cut your toe off to solve the problem.
It seems that we are dealing with a POTUS that leans more toward the concept of “equality of outcome” rather than “equality of opportunity”. And a majority of voters apparently support his notions. I feel like I have awakened from a long sleep to find myself in a strange land amidst a mass of strange people with strange ideas.
The Money Tree says
I have to admit an occasional moment of fear of the Outer Limits myself. Are these my neighbors and where did all these people come from that seem to prefer taking from others rather than doing for themselves and justify it as honest or acceptable.
ALEX R says
Well you better stay awake from now on because it isn’t going to get better unless a lot of people who have been put to sleep by the Dem/Libs wake up and get to work.
Jaguar Judy says
I just watched to the ‘lullaby’ sung by Elijah Cummings at the House hearings on Benghazi. I had to leave the gallery and puke. That guy will do anything to protect his party of Dem/Libs including cover up the executive branch failing to protect its own employees and getting them killed because of it. You people who voted for him should know that if he will cover up the murder of State Department, military and other government employees just to protect his party imagine what he would do to you all. And then after he was done he left the room because he had something more important to do than listen to the truth. Probably late for lunch with a lobbyist.
Spying on citizen to citizen communications, oppressing the press, spying on elected officials, supporting proxy wars all over the world! Is it Stasi? Is it the KGB?
NO, IT’S THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION !
who, disguised as a common American liberial, promotes Gramacian Communism as fundamental change away from our republic, a representative democracey of “govt by and for the people” to a Chineese modeled final result of a hybred capitolist / soft communist / political elitist state of “government and those who are governed”.
Go Dagger !