Rep. Upton: More Lose Insurance Than Sign up for Obamacare

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 12:25 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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More people have lost their current health insurance than have signed up for Obamacare, Rep. Fred Upton claimed Wednesday.

"One of the things that we're very concerned about is, more people have received a cancellation notice than have actually signed up for the Affordable Care Act," Upton told "Fox & Friends."

"It's not a good thing," said the Michigan Republican and House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman.

Story continues below video.

Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared before the committee Wednesday to answer questions about problems with the website rollout and specifics of the Affordable Care Act. 

During the hearing, Upton questioned Sebelius why a regulatory change was made last summer that would have grandfathered in existing individual plans when the healthcare law was enacted in 2010.

"Why was that change made? Did the president know it?" Upton asked.

"There was no change," Sebelius answered. "If a plan is in place and was in place at the time that the president signed the bill, and the consumer wants to keep the plan, those individuals are grandfathered in. And, that's happening across the country in the individual market."

To stem cancellations from continuing, Upton told "Fox & Friends," he introduced legislation this week to "keep the president's pledge" and enable people to keep private health insurance plans through 2014.

"I introduced legislation earlier this week, that we hope to have on the floor soon, co-sponsored by more than 50 folks, that says if you had a plan, you will be grandfathered, Upton said. "We'll keep the president's pledge."

"If you had a plan in January of this year, you don't have to be canceled. You can have it throughout next year, too," he added.

Increases in premiums and deductibles, some as high as 400 percent, are a problem for people when they shop for plans under the government insurance program.

"When they try to sign up for this . . . they're finding that their premium increases are as much as 100 percent, even 400 percent increases. And the deductibles are going up in the thousands of dollars as well. That's not keeping the pledge "if you like your health insurance, you can keep it,'" he said.

The rollout of Obamacare had a "disastrous start," Upton said, pointing out the frequent crashes of the website that was never tested until shortly before its launch.

"They've got so many subcontractors. They never actually tested line, from one end to the other, until a week or two prior to Oct. 1. And the system crashed, as it is still doing. A pretty disastrous start, to say the least," he said.

Related Stories:
  • Report: Contractor Warned Obamacare Site Not Ready a Month Before Rollout
  • Rep. Upton: 'Washington's Red Tape Factory' Delays Keystone Pipeline

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