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Smith defends Obamacare replacementTell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Adrian Smith

With another health insurer declining to offer insurance in Nebraska's marketplace for individuals, Rep. Adrian Smith is defending the bill that would replace Obamacare.

The bill, the American Health Care Act, is drawing criticism from across the country, as people wonder if pre-existing conditions will be covered, amid deeper concerns about affordability and the overall stability of the health insurance system.

The ACHA passed the House of Representatives on May 4 by a narrow vote, 217–213. The Senate has yet to take it under active consideration.

 Smith issued this statement Friday:

"Aetna has announced it will exit all Obamacare marketplaces in 2018, citing $700 million in losses since 2014 and leaving Nebraskans with only one insurer on the exchange. 

The remaining insurer, Medica, has not yet committed to selling policies on the exchange next year.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, our state’s largest insurer, and UnitedHealthcare pulled out of the exchange in 2016, also citing losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

News outlets recently reported Nebraska Director of Insurance Bruce Ramge saying if no companies participate in the Nebraska exchange next year, it could mean people who qualify for tax credits would not get them. 

However, they would still have to find insurance in order to avoid Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty, which is yet another example of people being harmed through no fault of their own, under this unsustainable law.

This is why we took action in the House at the beginning of May to move forward with repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Executive rulemaking created loopholes in Obamacare which allow individuals to enter and leave the insurance marketplace at any time. Coupled with the ineffectiveness of individual mandate penalties in forcing people to remain insured, premiums have continued to rise. 

Most Americans on the exchanges saw double-digit premium increases for 2017.

We all know people do not wait until they have an accident to obtain car insurance – this would compromise the entire risk-pooling system. The same holds true for health insurance, which is why the American Health Care Act passed by the House incentivizes people to select and maintain coverage before they need it. 

Under our bill, it is illegal for anyone who remains continually insured to face any form of rate discrimination due to a preexisting condition. 

The bill also establishes a 63-day grace period where no one can be charged a higher rate, regardless of health status, as long as new coverage is obtained before the grace period ends.

If a policy has lapsed for more than 63 days, the individual or family returning to insurance coverage must pay a 30 percent premium penalty in the first year – and only the first year – they return to coverage. 

This flat penalty encourages people to stay insured, while making sure those who return to the marketplace cover potential added costs in a way which does not rate them for their health conditions.

States have the option to request a waiver from certain Obamacare regulations under the American Health Care Act.

Before a waiver can be granted, the state must first establish an invisible high-risk pool.  This mechanism allows individuals and families to continue purchasing the same health insurance plans open to healthier consumers, but the extra costs of their health conditions are covered silently by the state-created pool to bring their premiums down to near the level of the healthier population.  

Again, even if a state receives a waiver, anyone who maintains consistent insurance coverage cannot be charged more.

I firmly believe we can protect access to care for those with preexisting conditions while lowering costs for the millions of Americans currently facing premiums and deductibles they cannot afford. 

Passing the American Health Care Act in the House was the first step, and we will continue our work in Congress to revive the health care marketplace."



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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/12/2017
Copyright © 2017 northplattebulletin.com - All rights reserved.
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Hey honestly , what ever happened to ajsdad ? And btw, the current disaster of American healthcare costs is the direct result of govt intervention , otherwise known as fascism.
Posted by J-Mac    - 5/15/2017 8:08:09 PM
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NebraskaLand National Bank You've got a
facebook Request!

Alias, hospitals might be making more, but physicians, physical therapist, etc.. in private practice are getting their reimbursements cut every year. I wonder if the top people of the insurance companies are making most of the money.
Posted by tiger4    - 5/15/2017 11:28:53 AM
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Reps and Dems are two sides of the same coin. No matter what you call it, Obamacare, Trumpcare, the ACA, it doesn't matter. I still can't afford to cover my family. Affordable indeed.
Posted by bigtroubleinlittlenp    - 5/15/2017 7:23:03 AM
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Amen, Alias!
Posted by original    - 5/14/2017 7:50:48 PM
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Apatriot - I am glad to know that if President Obama said it, I am for it. Thank you. I am sure the shoe is on the other foot. I do not listen to propaganda news channels. I can think for myself. If I read as much when I was in school, I would still be working. Most everyones premiums went up because of the obstruction of the ACA. Thanks to Union contracts, their premiums has stayed about the same. Ryan and the Republicans help write the ACA and the leadership decided it was President Obamas, and no way would they give him a victory. I hope you looked around to see what different Insurance Companies had to offer. Phares Financial has help hundred of families in lowering Healthcare costs. Even retired railroaders, with younger spouses, found relief from the high cobra premiums. Good luck with Trumpcare.
Posted by Terry 1951    - 5/14/2017 7:24:20 AM
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All I know is my premiums went up, my deductible went up, my Dr. quit and went to teach medicine because of the ACA and if Obummer said it Terry1951 is all for it. Drain the swamp.
Posted by APatriot    - 5/14/2017 5:21:00 AM
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I don't know what to think. I wish ajsdad wuz here to tell me how to think. I am lost.
Posted by honestly    - 5/14/2017 3:52:19 AM
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Greg Runner-Co-ops, or consumer operated and oriented health, plans were created in 2010 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. They were a compromise to a public health insurance option. These new insurance options were designed to add more competition at the state level and help drive down costs of insurance plans. The co-ops were meant to be nationwide. The law originally put aside $6 billion for the federal government to provide in loans to emerging co-ops. But that number was reduced to $3.4 billion in 2011, and was cut again to $2 billion in 2013 during federal talks relating to sequestration. These cuts lead to the creation of only 23 co-ops across the country. CoOportunity Health of Iowa, received about $146 million in federal funding. The company could not obtain additional funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), according to the Insurance Division. But Affordable Care Act (ACA) experts said a constantly changing insurance landscape led the company to the financial position in which it found itself. The company had more than 120,000 members in Iowa and Nebraska. Predominate insurance carrier opting not to participate in the marketplace. This gave people in need of federal subsidies to afford health insurance fewer choices and CoOportunity Health more customers. The co-op wound up with way more people (than originally projected) because the other players were not there.
Posted by Terry 1951    - 5/13/2017 6:05:17 PM
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Greg, Maybe your problem is the company you chose for insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield is junk. They just raise their rates because they are greedy and worthless! There is money for them in it. They are in charge and in the pockets of many of our greedy representative's! That you can't blame the ACA for. My insurance or deductible did not raise. If you think Trump care is going to be better you need to think again. FYI It takes 2 to bring children into this world. Oh yes and then there are the STD's. Women should not be the only responsible party. Trump's party want's to take those benefits from women along with the family planning. I would also bet you that Adrian Smith has not even read over the plan just like most of our congress that voted Dump care.
Posted by 2 Far From Home    - 5/13/2017 3:03:48 PM
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The ACA is far from perfect, but the AHCA is a travesty. Anyone, other than millionaires, who think they'll be better off if this horrible bill passes is delusional.
Posted by countryguy    - 5/13/2017 2:52:48 PM
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terry1951. the ACA was a step in the right direction, but in NO WAY anywhere near perfect. And a little FYI, Smith didn't help "defund the ACA" as you state. If the ACA is so great, then why did my BCBS policy, which is no longer available after just one year of "Obamacare" jump from $535.00 per month to over $1500 bucks? Oh yes, I forgot the deductible went up 800% also....and copays, well, I had none until Obamacare.....Anyway, back to the ACA. The government could have easily just put actual limits on what was being charged and for what services are rendered, along with price caps on meds.....but no, the lobbyists would never have let that happen. Why would everyone be required to have birth control??? Even males? Last I knew, only females could have babies....Anyway, is it fair for me being healthy, 48, non smoker, rarely drink and in relatively good shape to pay the same as a person of like age, overweight, heavy drinker, smokes pot or has some other bad habit, etc...??? Hell no its not. Although insurance premiums had been going up a little every year, the ACA blew that out of the water. My first year premium to keep the policy I had (but with way bigger deductible and a co pay added went up 38% first year alone....then next year plan was canceled by bcbs, new "next best" plan was 50% more and of course deductible doubled again. Next year, plan went up over 50% again, and benefits dropped again. The real problem is all the compensation packages all these insurors are giving to the people with titles.....most that end in "O"....getting 125 million in pay per year and then saying the company is losing money doesn't seem to cut it in my mind.
Posted by Greg Renner    - 5/13/2017 2:14:14 PM
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The Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010. It does the following: Requires Americans to obtain health insurance. Prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. The Insurance companies must put 80% back into healthcare. Allows young adults under age 26 to be covered by their parents' health insurance plans. Sets up new marketplaces to allow those without employer-provided insurance to purchase plans. Expanded Medicaid was a part in making Healthcare more affordable. What happened to the Exchanges that Nebraska was suppose to have? Did Mr. Smith ever sponsor legislation to fix the problem with the ACA or was he just interested in defunding Obamacare?
Posted by Terry 1951    - 5/13/2017 8:20:28 AM
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Adrian Smith is a "follower" of Trump, Ryan and McConnell. It's called 'PARTY, PARTY, PARTY, not Bipartisan for the good of all of every American. It's time to "replace" Smith.
Posted by Friendly One    - 5/13/2017 7:57:31 AM
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Nebraska should be like other states and have more to offer for insurance. If they cannot then it isn't right to penalize those that can't find affordable insurance.It is not easy to find affordable insurance for anyone working a minimum wage job. Some were just surviving on their income. I also believe that if Mr. Smith thinks the insurance they are offering to us is such a great deal, he should have the same insurance they are forcing on us! I also agree that the health care cost are outrageous. You certainly don't get the care you pay for. I get tired of paying more than 100.00 for a 10 minute visit. Many times the Doctors sit across the room from you. They don't even get close to check you out. I have yet to have one listen to my heart or anything else. Dentist cost are crazy.
Posted by 2 Far From Home    - 5/12/2017 7:27:17 PM
(0 current warning - 1 warnings total)

I think there's a bigger picture to be addressed. We have all heard the horror stories about the outrageous premiums under Obamacare. So if insurance companies are charging these outrageous premiums and still losing $700 million a year where is this money going?? I think the prices of healthcare need to be addressed more than the insurance policies.
Posted by Alias    - 5/12/2017 5:50:12 PM
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