On Thursday, the Oshkosh Republican described President Obama’s signature health care initiative as nothing less than criminal.
“Let me be very clear what this administration did. Massive consumer fraud, that’s what it was. Obamacare is a massive consumer fraud,” said Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The committee held a hearing on the state of state health insurance markets after several years of Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as it officially has been dubbed.
Representatives from state health insurance commissioner offices testified on what are projected to be escalating premiums and structural costs as fed up insurers exit the health care exchanges.
Wisconsin Deputy Commissioner of Insurance J.P. Wieske, told the committee that some very scary prospects await thousands of Badger State health insurance consumers.
“We have 64,000 people in the state who will be losing their coverage because, not just because of market withdrawals, because of service area changes,” he said. “Those 64,000 people will be auto re-enrolled. … Their private information will be sent to another private medical insurer, from one to the other, without their permission, by the federal government. … It’s going to be a hugely fraudulent, potentially fraudulent and problematic area for our Wisconsin consumers, 64,000 of them potentially who could see these numbers change.”
In Wisconsin, the average increase was 10 percent among the 87 Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans that reported rate changes, according to an analysis last month by the MacIver Institute.
MacIver found that some Wisconsinites could face a 45 percent increase in their plans.
Johnson, who has long called for the repeal of Obamacare, took aim at the failed pledges of the president – if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, and if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. Those promises did not pan out for many Americans.
Neither did the predictions of declining premiums for many more.
Johnson said if a business had failed to deliver on such grandiose promises, it would be investigated and shut down by federal regulators.
“I just wonder what these federal regulatory agencies would do to an insurance company that engaged in that,” the senator said.
A Republican senator in a tight re-election race charged Thursday that Obamacare has essentially committed consumer fraud by over-promising and under-delivering, and said the federal government would investigate the program if it were a private insurer.
He wondered in that hearing whether Obamacare would be investigated by federal agencies for misleading consumers.
Johnson said the Federal Trade Commission or other agencies would investigate any insurer that made similar claims about Obamacare, including President Obama’s pledge that if you like your doctor you can keep him or her.
“When it is passed by the federal government it becomes legal consumer fraud,” he said.