The Urban Institute predicts that gutting the Affordable Care Act, as Poliquin voted to do, will increase health care premiums for Mainers by 16 percent next year:
Westbrook, MAINE – A report released by the Urban Institute this week revealed that Mainers are in danger of seeing a nearly 16 percent increase in their health care premiums next year as a result of Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s vote to gut the Affordable Care Act.
“Tens of thousands of Mainers are facing an unnecessary spike in their health care premiums as a result of Congressman Poliquin’s vote,” said Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett. “When he went down to Washington, the Congressman pledged to work across the aisle and look out for the interests of Mainers – but, instead, he’s towed the Republican Party line and voted to gut Medicaid and drive up health care costs. For a family in rural Maine that’s struggling to make ends meet, his vote may very well end up being difference between being able to afford health insurance and not. Mainers deserve a champion for affordable, high-quality health care – and, unfortunately, that’s not what we have in Congressman Poliquin.”
The Urban Institute’s report reveals that health care premiums for Maine families will increase in 2019 by as much as 15.9 percent and that 51,000 more Mainers will lack comprehensive health coverage next year because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
The anticipated increases in premiums are the direct result of the passage of the Republican tax bill, supported by Congressman Poliquin, which eliminated the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance, also known as the individual mandate.
Congressman Poliquin supported the bill despite a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office which warned that repealing the mandate would result in increased premiums – a point even acknowledged by Maine Senator Susan Collins who traded her vote on the Republican tax bill for two pieces of legislation intended to stabilize the health care market following its repeal [spoiler alert: despite her promises, Senator Collins has yet been able to pass either bill].
Poliquin has been a long-time foe of the Affordable Care Act despite its proven success in helping providing tens of thousands of Mainers with quality health insurance. In May 2017, Poliquin voted to repeal the ACA, incorrectly saying that it would only impact seven percent of Mainers – despite the fact that the bill would jeopardize health coverage and inflict deep cuts to Medicaid. Poliquin was the only member of the Maine Congressional delegation to support it, and President Trump even called the bill “mean”.