Insurance commissioner wades in to health insurance row

Insurance commissioner states her state senator’s health care stance is “irresponsible and frightening”

Insurance commissioner wades in to health insurance row

Life & Health


The Pennsylvania insurance commissioner has publically called her state senator’s health care stance “irresponsible and frightening”.

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller released a statement criticizing Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey's recent comment supporting a repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement in place.

The move would put the health care of millions of Pennsylvanians in jeopardy, she said.

“Senator Toomey's comment to Fox Business News Friday that he supports repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without legislation to replace this vital lifeline is irresponsible and frightening.

“Senator Toomey glibly assumes Congress will come up with a replacement health plan to provide coverage for his constituents by whatever arbitrary deadline is set but, in doing so, he ignores his own history and his constituents' well-being.

"The ACA helps many families with employer-sponsored and individual coverage by allowing adult children to remain on these plans through age 26. These young adults may be completing their education, working part time, or in entry level jobs that don't provide benefits, and this provision of the law gives them time to get their careers started and to begin paying down other expenses, such as student loans, without worrying about paying for health insurance.

Miller said the Senator needed to listen to his constituents who rely on the ACA for healthcare.

"Another important provision of the ACA is the ban on excluding pre-existing conditions from coverage. Prior to the ACA, many plans would not cover pre-existing conditions, or would only cover them after a waiting period, or they forced those with pre-existing conditions into extremely expensive plans,” Miller said.

"Senator Toomey needs to speak with Carl, from Cumberland County, who before the ACA, lost his insurance because a pre-existing condition spiked his premium from $400 to $3,400 a month in two years, forcing him to drop coverage and face potential financial ruin. Under the ACA, Carl, age 62, got affordable coverage because his pre-existing condition could not be excluded and could not affect his premium rate…

“… [and] Anna, from York County, who recently told me her story of having two children with severe, chronic health conditions, and for whom expanded Medicaid provides a vital lifeline Her family has insurance, but the costs of continuing care for their children, even with private coverage, was forcing Anna's family to choose between paying their monthly utility bills, and buying needed medicine for their children. Under expanded Medicaid, Anna's family can now pay their monthly bills on time."

Miller said Senator Toomey was one of the 13 GOP senators who crafted the current Senate health care replacement in secret.

This replacement, which has not come to a vote, would result in 22 million Americans losing coverage, she said. 

"Placing a deadline before Congress and expecting its members to act by that deadline is far from a guarantee they will do so," Miller said. 

"Pennsylvanians need to keep this … in mind, and not allow their health care to be put in jeopardy with a vague promise that Congress will come up with something before an arbitrary deadline returns health insurance to the very consumer un-friendly situation that existed prior to the Affordable Care Act."

Related stories:
GOP releases Obamacare replacement bill
We’ll start our own replacement to Obamacare, says state governor

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