Connecticut’s rising health care premiums are part of a pattern of sky-high health care costs caused by the Trump administration’s actions

Murphy: “When people in Connecticut see their higher health care bills next year, they’ll have President Trump to blame”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a statement after the Connecticut Insurance Department announced that the proposed average individual rate increase request for health insurance in Connecticut in 2019 is 12.3%. Specifically, for plans on and off Access Health CT, Anthem requested a 9.1% proposed rate increase and ConnectiCare requested a 13% proposed rate increase. Murphy has consistently called out the Trump administration for systematically sabotaging the health care system, forcing families to pay more all while insurance companies and drug companies benefit from massing tax breaks.

“When people in Connecticut see their higher health care bills next year, they’ll have President Trump to blame,” said Murphy. “The Trump administration has been waging a very deliberate assault on the American health care system, and it’s working. I wish we weren’t in this position, but Republicans in Congress aren’t sticking up for health care protections or working with Democrats to lower costs. States are now left scrambling. There are meaningful steps Connecticut should take now, like creating our own insurance mandate and setting up a strong reinsurance program, to try to blunt these devastating rising costs.”

After announcing the proposed rates, Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Katharine L. Wade cited the Trump administration’s actions as a cause of the uncertainty and rising costs. She said, “Of concern, however, is the ongoing uncertainty in Washington that threatens to destabilize the health insurance markets, particularly for individuals. The Department is pressing for clarity and guidance from the federal government so that we can finalize the rates for 2019.”

The Trump administration has been systematically undermining the health care system and driving up costs. During his first day in office, President Trump signed an executive order ordering all of his agencies to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Despite failing to repeal the popular Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress have been chipping away at it. They repealed the individual mandate, which the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said, will by itself, increase premiums by 10% and lead to 13 million fewer people having insurance. The Trump administration is working to expand the sale of “junk plans” that don’t have to cover a minimum set of benefits and that don’t protect people who are sick or who have a preexisting condition from higher premium rates. Additionally, the president took a number of steps to try to weaken the health care exchanges, including cutting the open enrollment period in half and slashing funding for public awareness efforts and navigators to help people learn about their options and sign up for health care coverage.

Additionally, critical health care issues hang in the balance with the next justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. President Trump pledged to only appoint justices who are hostile to the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration took the unprecedented step to side with a partisan lawsuit in Texas v. United States to declare protections for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.