Finance Hearing Statement: Health Care: Issues Impacting Cost and Coverage

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement for the committee hearing, “Health Care: Issues Impacting Cost and Coverage.”

“This committee would be remiss if it examined the issues impacting health care costs and coverage without acknowledging the Trump Administration’s efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. President Trump has directed agencies to stop enforcing key regulations, suppressed, and in some cases stopped altogether, outreach and enrollment efforts, and he has threatened to stop payments that keep coverage costs low for the most vulnerable people among us.

“As a member of this committee, I am laser-focused on examining what’s working in our health care system and identifying what we need to change to make it better. Experts from every corner of our health care system have told us that reinsurance, stability funds and flexibility for states are just a few of the many ways that we can lower costs for families in the individual insurance market. The plan proposed by a bipartisan group of governors, led by Governors Kasich and Hickenlooper, is a great example of how bipartisan teamwork can move the needle on health care—a constructive solution to improve the individual health insurance market and reduce health care costs. This bipartisan plan includes funding for cost-sharing reduction payments for two years and, similar to legislation I introduced earlier this year and Republican health care plans, calls for a stability fund to strengthen the individual insurance markets.

“During today’s hearing, news broke that the nation’s uninsured rate is down to 8.8 percent, and the number of uninsured Americans, 28.1 million, is at a historic low. But in everything we do, I know we can do better—and we Democrats and Republicans still have work to do to give everyone in this country better health care for less money.

“I commend Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden for calling this hearing to look for ways to forge compromise and find solutions to lower health care costs and improve our health care system. We need more hearings and, frankly, conversations like this.”