WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2017): Today, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded to Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision to withdraw from Iowa’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace in the wake of rising costs and political certainty surrounding the healthcare law. CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:
“The news of Wellmark’s exit from the individual market in Iowa points to the growing uncertainty surrounding the ACA, as consumers and insurers alike await a clear signal from Washington before making decisions for the coming coverage year. Already, more than 1,000 counties nationwide are down to their last insurer on the ACA exchange, while entire portions of eastern Tennessee lack a single option for coverage through the marketplace altogether. Absent quick action from Congress, these problems will continue to multiply and consumers will have even fewer options for individual market coverage next year,” said CAHC President Joel White. “CAHC has repeatedly called for action to reverse the ACA’s overreach that is leading to market instability, higher costs and decreased consumer choices, and we continue to advocate for more patient-centered, market-based reforms. It is imperative that Congress sets party politics aside and acts on a bipartisan basis to immediately stabilize the marketplace and give certainty to both insurers and consumers.
That starts with passage of Senators Alexander and Corker’s Health Care Options Act of 2017, which will allow individuals who have no coverage options on government run exchanges to use their subsidies off-exchange. We also call for Congress to provide emergency stabilization funding to ensure that millions of Americans do not lose coverage in 2018.”
CAHC President Joel White added, “We remain hopeful that a commonsense, thoughtful ACA replacement package will receive a vote in the near term but, until then, Congress must ensure that there is an individual market left to reform. Working together, we should make certain those most in need of coverage are not left twisting in the wind as this debate continues.”
About the Council for Affordable Health Coverage
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage.
About CAHC President Joel White
A veteran of health policy, Joel White became President of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage after serving twelve years on Capitol Hill, including as Staff Director of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. His writings on health care policy have been published in Morning Consult, The Hill, Washington Examiner, FierceHealthcare, and Inside Sources, among others, and he testified before the Ways and Means Committee on health reform just last year. Joel holds a BS in Economics from the American University and is the co-author of the book, Facts and Figures on Government Finance.