New Mexico Health Insurer Seeks 80% Premium Increase As Senate Ramps Up Repeal Efforts

As Democrats continue their efforts to 'Resist 45,' which apparently includes throwing their unwavering support behind Obamacare, we get yet another sign of just how broken the healthcare exchanges around the country are.  According to the Associated Press, New Mexico Health Connections will seek an 80% increase in premiums for the 2018 plan year:

All four health insurance providers on New Mexico's state-run exchange have submitted rate proposals for the coming year, despite uncertainty about key federal subsidies.


New Mexico Health Connections CEO Martin Hickey said Thursday his cooperative is proposing a nearly 80 percent premium increase for individuals. The proposal may be lowered in July.


Health Widler of the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance says detailed descriptions of proposed rate increases will be made public later this month.

Of course, as we pointed out last month (see "Two Simple Charts Explain The Devastating Consequences Of Obamacare"), New Mexico's Obamacare premiums had already increased nearly 100% between 2013 and 2017.  Therefore, adding an incremental 80% to the 2017 rates would imply an over 250% increase in just 5 years.


That said, as The Hill notes this morning, Republicans still face an uphill battle in their repeal efforts with only a narrow 2-person majority in the Senate and certain lawmakers, like Rand Paul, unlikely to support any proposal put forward.

Senators only have two weeks left in the work period before the Fourth of July recess, which leaders have eyed as a target for holding a vote on a bill. But there are still significant policy hurdles that remain.


GOP leaders insist the divide between moderate Republicans and conservatives is surmountable. They've been talking about repealing ObamaCare for seven years, and publicly say they can see the finish line.


There will be more meetings in the coming week, but the discussions have been behind closed doors so far, leading to grumbling from Democrats, as well as some Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and outside groups about transparency.


Some senators say time is not on their side as they try to win votes, and they believe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could simply decide it's time to move and force a vote.


But the disagreements aren't minor. Senators are still debating how quickly to phase out federal funds for Medicaid expansion and how deeply to cut the program, and lawmakers say they have still not seen legislative text of a bill.

All of which means that even if you don't like your Obamacare, you just might have to keep it.