(BISMARCK, ND) – A new report by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation shows that mixed signals from the stalled Republican health care repeal efforts – as well as actions taken by the administration that threaten to disrupt insurance markets – are causing uncertainty “far outside the norm” leading insurers to seek higher premium increases for the coming year.

“Rather than working to develop bipartisan solutions that expand access to care and lower costs, congressional Republicans like Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven pushed for widely panned legislation that would rip health coverage away from tens of thousands of North Dakotans,” said Democratic-NPL spokesperson Daniel Tick. “Their ill-fated attempts at repeal – combined with the administration’s threats to destabilize insurance markets – are leading to higher premiums for North Dakota families. And still, Cramer and Hoeven show no signs of willingness to come to the table and work on real, bipartisan solutions.”     

The Kaiser Family Foundation examined publicly available filings used by insurers to justify proposed premiums to state regulators. They found that, among many factors contributing to premium increases, uncertainty and mixed signals from the Republican congress and administration played a significant role.     

According to the Associated Press:

“The vast majority of companies in states with detailed rate filings have included some language around the uncertainty, so it is likely that more companies will revise their premiums to reflect uncertainty in the absence of clear answers from Congress or the administration,” the report said. Once premiums are set, they’re generally in place for a whole year […]

“In many cases that means insurers are adding double-digit premium increases on top of what they otherwise would have requested,” said Cynthia Cox, a co-author of the Kaiser report. “In many cases, what we are seeing is an additional increase due to the political uncertainty.”

“North Dakotans deserve an honest conversation about what needs fixing in our health care system, one that includes ideas from all sides and isn’t carried out behind closed doors,” added Tick. “That means we need bipartisan commitment to reining in health care costs without kicking tens of thousands of North Dakotans off their insurance as Cramer and Hoeven supported.”   

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