March 21,2013

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless (Hatch) 202-224-4515
Liz Wolgemuth (Alexander) 202-228-4729

Hatch, Alexander Amendment Would End ObamaCare Mandates Causing “Rate Shock”

Waives health care law’s mandates on states and employers if health insurance premiums rise when law goes into effect in January 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced an amendment to protect consumers, employers, and states from “rate shock” under the new health care law, by allowing states and employers waivers from the law’s mandates if those mandates cause individual, small group or employer premiums to rise.

Hatch said: “Instead of lowering the cost of health insurance, as the President promised, premiums continue to soar, hurting families’ ability to pay their bills and save for their children’s futures. This makes no sense and will only get worse when all the ObamaCare mandates are in place. We need to get rid of this burdensome mandate, as this amendment does, to empower states and employers to make smart choices that will actually lower the cost of health care for America’s families.”
Alexander said:  “When the health care law is implemented in January, both individuals and businesses will see their insurance premiums skyrocket because the health care law expanded a system we already knew was too expensive. We should waive the law’s burdensome mandates on states and employers as one step in repealing the law, so that we can start over with a single-minded focus on reducing the cost of health care.”

Alexander is the Ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee and Hatch is the Ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.
A study from the American Action Forum indicates premiums will increase as much as 203 percent for some in the individual market once the health care law mandates are fully phased in next year.  Another study by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates employer-sponsored insurance premiums have increased for families by over $3,000 since 2008, and many economists expect they will likely skyrocket in 2014.
This amendment’s ultimate purpose would be to waive the most onerous requirements of the health care law on states and employers that will drive up health insurance premiums, without increasing the debt.  

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