U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement on a report by the Society of Actuaries that finds insurance claims in the individual market will rise an average 32 percent for Americans and 46.4 percent for Tennesseans, under the new health care law:
"This nonpartisan report offers more evidence that what I told the president in 2010 is true: individual insurance premiums will rise under his plan. He disagreed, but health insurance premiums are in large part determined by the cost of health insurance claims. Real reform to our health care system must be driven by a single-minded focus on the cost of health care and the role of the consumer in reducing those costs."
In an Associated Press story on the study, Kristi Bohn, an actuary who worked on the study, says: "Claims cost is the most important driver of health care premiums."
Alexander was asked by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and then-House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) to represent Republicans at a summit at the White House in Feb. 2010 to discuss the president's proposed health-care law. He warned President Obama that premiums for millions of Americans with individual insurance would rise under the president's proposal. The president disputed Alexander's charge, but a report by the Congressional Budget Office confirmed that premiums would indeed rise.