Norcross Votes to Punish Families for Obamacare's Failures

Haddonfield, NJ -- In response to Congressman Donald Norcross's vote to penalize consumers for Obamacare's co-op failures, Bob Patterson released the following statement:

"Donald Norcross is once again revealing his true colors.  Just yesterday, Donald Norcross voted to penalize workers and families who lost their health coverage through no fault of their own.  People whose coverage is stopped because their insurer closes their doors shouldn’t be fined for not having coverage.

"Obamacare's heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all regulations don't work and South Jerseyans are suffering under the law.  Congressman Donald Norcross -- though a newly minted millionaire himself -- should be sensitive to the struggles of the people of South Jersey and instead fight to repeal Obamacare regulations and give workers and families more choices, greater affordability, and no penalties."

Yesterday, Donald Norcross voted against temporarily exempting individuals from the individual mandate if their Obamacare co-op failed.

On September 27, 2016, Donald Norcross voted against H R 954, the CO-OP Consumer Protection Act of 2016.  The bill "temporarily exempts from penalties for failing to purchase and maintain minimum essential health care coverage individuals whose coverage under a plan offered by a qualified nonprofit health insurance issuer receiving funds through the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program was terminated or otherwise discontinued." (H R 954, Roll Call Vote #563: R: 242-0, D: 16-165, Passed 258-165, Norcross Voted Nay, 9/27/16)

The failure of Obamacare co-ops in the news:

There was "bipartisan agreement" that Congress should act to ensure consumers were not punished as a result of a failed co-op. "There was some bipartisan agreement during the markup that Congress might want to ensure that customers whose insurance is interrupted because of a co-op closure should not have to start over paying their deductibles mid-year." (Morning Consult, 9/26/16)

The Hill: "Frustration mounts over ObamaCare co-op failures." "A new wave of failures among ObamaCare's nonprofit health insurers is disrupting coverage for thousands of enrollees and raising questions about whether regulators could have acted earlier to head off some of the problems. Four ObamaCare co-ops have failed due to financial problems since the beginning of the year, the latest trouble for the struggling program. The co-ops were set up under ObamaCare to increase competition with established insurers, but just seven of the original 23 co-ops now remain." (The Hill, 8/1/16)

The co-ops are failing because they "took on far too many customers at artificially low premiums." To date, more than half a million Americans have lost coverage thanks to the failure of these co-ops. The reason? The co-ops took on far too many customers at artificially low premiums, and, as the American Enterprise Institute and the Galen Institute noted earlier this year, are drawing down 'unspent loan funds to pay medical claims.' Despite mounting failures, the Obama administration has been unwilling to change course. Politico Pro has reported that state and federal regulators let some of the co-ops 'reclassify certain loans as surplus, a move that financial analysts say will make the health plans’ balance sheets look better and potentially keep them from shutting down.' In other words, to hide their debts and project false solvency—until they, too, go under." (Rep. Adrian Smith, Op-Ed, "ObamaCare’s Cascading Co-op Failures, The Wall Street Journal, 11/2/15)