Senate Passes Scott Amendment to Increase Transparency of Health Insurance Costs

Washington – U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s amendment to provide consumers a clearer look at the costs associated with their health care plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by a bipartisan vote of 56-44 in the U.S. Senate today. The amendment now becomes a part of the Senate’s Budget Resolution, which will be voted on in full tonight or early tomorrow morning. Scott’s amendment was cosponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).

“My amendment is designed to increase the number of insurance companies that disclose exactly how much the new health insurance tax is contributing to their monthly premiums,” Scott said. “When American families go shopping at the grocery store, they see on their receipt how much tax they are paying. Unfortunately, that is not always the case with their health insurance and the new health insurance sales tax.”

“The fact is the Affordable Care Act has actually increased premiums for many hardworking families, and the health insurance tax is a key part of that. Consumers have the right to know what exactly they are paying for, and my amendment will provide the transparency the American people deserve.”

The ACA imposed a new sales tax on health insurance, known as the health insurance tax, which has increased the cost of health care coverage in the form of increased monthly premiums. The tax was $8 billion in 2014, increasing by 40% in 2015, and will reach a massive $14.3 billion in 2018. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said that this tax will be “largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums.”

A study by Oliver Wyman estimated that this tax would “increase premiums in the insured market on average by 1.9% to 2.3% in 2014,” and by 2023 “will increase premiums 2.8% to 3.7%.”