Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Votes to Protect Consumers from Substantial Healthcare Price Hikes
November 15, 2013
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted to protect consumers from a greater risk of substantial price hikes in healthcare premiums. She voted against the Keep Your Health Plan Act (H.R. 3350), a bill that allows health insurers to offer plans that existed as of January 1, 2013 to current and future consumers, but will reduce the number of people entering the healthcare marketplaces, creating the likelihood of dramatically increased premiums. It passed the House today by a vote of 261-157.
“People in Hawai‘i and across the United States deserve access to affordable healthcare, and to be able to keep their healthcare plans as promised,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has called for bipartisan efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act, rather than to completely repeal it. “President Obama’s announcement yesterday that people can keep their health plans for an additional year is a step in the right direction, targeting the problem of plan cancellation, and also requiring insurers to be more transparent about the coverage they offer. However, I remain concerned about a variety of issues within the Affordable Care Act that have come to light, such as ensuring affordability of prescription drug costs, guaranteeing the security of personal information submitted online, and providing additional time for consumers to sign up online once the website exchanges are fully functional. I will continue to work to bring about these necessary changes to improve safe, affordable access to quality healthcare for everyone.”
The nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has also cautioned that H.R. 3350 “would raise premiums significantly.” A broad coalition of organizations is opposed to H.R. 3350, including the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Families USA, Consumers Union, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Paralyzed Veterans of America, among other key groups.