ACA more costly than ever

Published 12:50 pm Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Obama administration recently confirmed the Affordable Care Act continues to break a signature promise: that the law would reduce the cost of health care for Americans. The administration announced insurance premiums in the federally managed health exchanges would increase by an average of 25 percent for the mid-level benchmark plan in 2017. This news is no surprise, nor was it unforeseeable when the law was passed. We knew government rules and mandates would not make health care less expensive nor achieve many other promises.

U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt

U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Virginia consumers would fare “relatively well” as it relates to these increases, and, on a statistical basis, that is certainly accurate. On average, Virginians will see a 10 percent premium increase for benchmark plans and an overall 19.5 percent average premium increase for all plans, far less than the 63 percent hike in Tennessee or the staggering 116 percent jump in premiums in Arizona. But 5th District Virginians would not describe 10-20 percent increases as faring well when the economy, good jobs and wages are not growing fast enough.

It is time to reverse course and put an end to the broken promises. We must inject market-oriented reform into the health-care system giving Americans more choice and reduce their costs. Making care more affordable will increase access for everyone while enabling them to see doctors of their choosing. I remain committed to reforms that are patient-centered.

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Robert Hurt represents Farmville, Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at his Farmville office at 434) 395-0120 or by email at