Griffith Introduces the Insurance Rate Transparency Act
Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today issued the following statement after introducing the Insurance Rate Transparency Act (H.R. 4633):
“While campaigning in 2007, now-President Obama said ‘I have made a solemn pledge that I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premiums by up to $2,500 a year.’
“Thus far, Obamacare has seemingly failed to fulfill the President’s promise. And some of the nation’s largest health insurance providers were unable to confirm such a reduction under Obamacare when I recently asked them about that promise at a Committee hearing.
“At this hearing, the insurance providers indicated that their rates would be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services and various states by the end of June. Since the Administration has delayed open enrollment until after the 2014 elections, many Americans simply will not know what premium increases they will face in the exchanges. The Insurance Rate Transparency Act would ensure that the American people are not kept in the dark for political reasons.
“Countless people across the country and in Virginia’s Ninth Congressional District are dealing with increased premium rates, decreased benefits, or both. Congress has sought and continues to seek information and transparency from the Administration about the implementation of Obamacare, about this and other broken promises. The American people deserve no less.”
At a May 7, 2014 Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, Griffith asked representatives of some of the nation’s largest health insurance providers if their companies anticipated a reduction in premiums of $2,500 a year for an average family. Not one insurance company representative raised his hand, nor did they raise hands when Griffith asked about a $2,000 reduction or a $1,500 reduction. Video of this interaction can be seen here on Griffith’s YouTube page.
Insurance providers are required to submit their rates to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and certain states – including the Commonwealth of Virginia – so that any rate changes and increases in premiums can be reviewed and certified. Griffith’s Insurance Rate Transparency Act would require that HHS submit premium information to Congress within 30 days of receipt.
The text of the Insurance Rate Transparency Act is attached.