Republicans cause health care costs to skyrocket

Obamacare supporters

A new study from the Urban Institute estimates California health care premiums will increase by at least 18 percent next year simply due to Republican policy changes.

Health care costs are set to dramatically increase next year, in large part due to the policies enacted by Republicans like Reps. Mimi Walters (Irvine) and Steve Knight (Palmdale).

A new study from the Urban Institute estimates an 18 percent increase in health care premiums next year due to policy changes championed and implemented by Republicans in 2017. The increase for Californians (17.8 percent) is nearly identical to the national average (18.2 percent).

Walters and Knight championed the key changes to the Affordable Care Act that are responsible for the increase costs.

On her official congressional website, Walters laments “increased healthcare costs for individuals, families, and businesses, pushed many off of plans that worked, and stood between patients and their doctor.” But her championed policies are responsible for pushing costs even higher.

In fact, the Urban Institute increase only takes into account the impact of policy changes, not regular inflation of medical costs, which Covered California estimates as an additional 7 percent.

When other factors are added in, the Urban Institute estimate is roughly in line with the previous estimate from Covered California, which predicted premiums would increase up to 30 percent next year.

In addition to dramatically increased costs, the new study predicts the number of uninsured will increase by 6.4 million people, including more than 1.6 million Californians.

But Walters and Knight callously dismiss those who no longer have health insurance, saying they “haven’t lost insurance; they’ve regained freedom.”

More than 36,000 constituents in Walters’ congressional district alone will “regain freedom” — by losing health care coverage — thanks to her votes. The same goes for 31,000 resident in Knight’s district.

Walters and Knight backed repeal and replace efforts despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of voters were opposed to that route. Voters are generally happy with the ACA, and for good reason.

Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the number of uninsured Americans dropped by 20 million people. Under the ACA, “the market has been stabilizing and insurers are now mostly profitable in the ACA marketplace,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Vox.

Then Trump and Republicans started implementing their preferred policies.

Now, not only are costs increasing, but fewer people will have access to affordable health insurance.