Ten State-Based Exchange Executives Tell Senate Leaders Graham-Cassidy Will Disrupt Insurance Markets and Prove Impossible to Implement

For Immediate Release: Sept. 25, 2017
Contact: Jennifer Laudano, 202-507-7584

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, executive directors from 10 state-operated health insurance marketplaces expressed serious concerns over the financial cuts, drastic policy changes, and dramatically altered insurance funding model proposed in the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment.

In a Sept. 25, 2017, letter to Senate leadership, state insurance marketplace leaders said the amendment could cause wide-scale market disruption resulting in issuer exits, escalating prices, loss of coverage, and/or elimination of consumer protections.

Drawing on their experiences as front-line implementers of state-based insurance market reforms, the leaders cautioned that implementation of the proposed reforms could be impossible in many states, given the amendment’s short-sighted consideration of the policy, administrative, legislative, financial, operational, and regulatory hurdles that each state must navigate to implement the amendment’s massive coverage reforms.

“This plan could trigger the collapse of states’ entire individual markets, forcing millions to lose their health care coverage,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “The effect would lead not only to more uninsured than before the Affordable Care Act, but cause huge negative impacts on the health care delivery system, the economy, and those with employer-based health care coverage,” he said.

“The amendment’s financial cuts would force our states and insurers to choose between preserving protections deemed critical to our consumers, such as protecting those with pre-existing conditions, or drastically raising rates and/or minimizing choices in order to maintain a functional market,” said Heather Korbulic, executive director of Nevada’s Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. “Drawing on our collective experience, we encourage the Senate to return to bipartisan efforts that can benefit from our lessons learned, build on our successes, and bring both short- and long-term improvements to our markets.”

The Senate Finance Committee is currently scheduled to hold a hearing on the amendment on Monday, September 25. A vote on the amendment has been tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, September 27.

The full text of the letter is available here.


The National Academy for State Health Policy is home to the State Health Exchange Leadership Network, a consortium of state leaders and staff dedicated to operation of the SBMs and SBM-FPs.