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September 07, 2017 03:15 PM UTC

It's overreach to blame increased insurance costs on Obamacare

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  • by: Jason Salzman

Predictably, Colorado Republicans are blaming Obamacare for increases in the cost of health insurance purchased from Colorado’s health insurance exchange.

“Thank you, #Obamacare,” tweeted Brauchler, a Republican, citing a Denver Post article about the rate hikes. The Post reported that U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, all Republicans, also blamed Obamacare for the rate increase.

Something tells me this won’t be the last time these folks will be blaming Obamacare for this or that healthcare problem.

Trouble is, if you read the Post’s story, by Jon Ingold, you find that the cause of the rate increase is, at least in part, the Republican efforts to kill Obamacare, according to state insurance commissioner Marguerite Salazar, who was quoted in The Post:

Salazar said insurers told regulators that the ongoing debate over whether to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and, essentially, change the rules for the individual market only a few years after the rules were first rewritten by the law, also known as Obamacare — led in part to the price increases. Insurers also cited more general market conditions in filings with the state justifying the proposed premiums.

“It was a struggle,” Salazar said. “Markets don’t like uncertainty, bottom line.”

Obviously, we don’t know what “general market conditions” contributed to the rate increases–or to what extent they were related to Obamacare. Though we do know that health insurance prices were increasing prior to Obamacare as well. And we know Republicans have so far chosen not to try to fix problems with Obamacare.

But it’s clearly a ludicrous overreach for Republicans to blame insurance increases on Obama’s health care law, after we just witnessed the spectacular crash of the GOP’s seven-year crusade to repeal Obamacare.

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