Amy Mercado: The never-ending battle against higher premiums – Florida Politics (blog)
We recently learned that if the Donald Trump administration pulls Obamacare subsidies, premiums will jump 20 percent on the most popular coverage, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. This would be very bad news for Floridians who are already struggling with the rising costs of health care.
Our state has led the nation in Obamacare sign ups with more than 1.6 million enrolled in 2017, up from 1.1 million the prior year. This is due, in some part, to the refusal of leadership in Tallahassee to expand Medicaid that left up to 1 million Floridians without access to the health care coverage they need to live and work.
If there is any doubt about the dire need for affordable health care coverage, 45 of 50 states have fewer uninsured people than Florida. We simply can’t afford any premium increases.
That’s why it’s also important to once again delay the looming Health Insurance Tax.
This Health Insurance Tax, also known as the “HIT tax,” was previously delayed by Congress for the current year. The delay received bipartisan support, with 400 members of Congress voting in favor of the delay, and it was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The Health Insurance Tax is estimated to increase premiums on certain policies by about 3 percent in January 2018. Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage and small-business owners, their employees and their families will also have to pay more out of pocket.
And the state Medicaid budget will be squeezed even more than it is already — especially bad timing considering the Florida Legislature just cut funding for care provided to Medicaid patients.
As a working mom, businesswoman and former health care worker, I know that every penny counts. When you can’t afford coverage, you can’t afford to get sick.
I also know these numbers don’t