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WCCO DEBATE: Franken has always said health reform law would slow rise of insurance rates

Investment banker Mike McFadden’s claim that Sen. Franken said the Affordable Care Act would make health care cheaper is outright false. Sen. Franken has consistently said the Affordable Care Act would slow the rate at which premiums increased, which it has.

Meanwhile, McFadden would do away with one of the largest cost saving features in the Affordable Care Act, the Medical Loss Ratio or 80/20 rule. Sen. Franken’s measure requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on actual health care instead of on marketing or CEO salaries.

FACT: AL FRANKEN MADE IT CLEAR THAT WHILE INSURANCE RATES WOULD KEEP RISING, THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WOULD SLOW THE RATE OF GROWTH.

December 2009: Franken “Accused The Bill’s Critics Of ‘Deliberately Confusing’ Americans … And He Chided Supporters Of The Bill For ‘Overselling’ It.” According to Gannett, “ In fact, clarity was the theme of the speech by the junior senator from Minnesota as he accused the bill’s critics of ‘deliberately confusing’ Americans about what’s in it. And he chided supporters of the bill for ‘overselling’ it. Americans ‘wouldn’t be so confused if everyone was being honest and forthright about what’s in the bill,’ Franken said.” [Gannett, 12/23/09]

Franken Said The Affordable Care Act Would “Slow The Increase In Cost” Of Insurance. In January 2010, the Pioneer Press asked Franken whether the Accordable Care Act was still reform even though it didn’t include a public option, which Franken backed. Franken said, “It’s going to make these insurance reforms to make people’s health insurance a lot more secure — the pre-existing condition exclusion, getting rid of that, (and) annual or lifetime (coverage) limits. There’s so much in this, and there’s so much on the other side on cost control on things that I believe will … slow the increase in the cost. I think this is a very good bill.” [Pioneer Press, 1/16/10]

MEANWHILE, MIKE MCFADDEN WOULD UNDO ONE OF THE LARGEST COST-SAVING FEATURES IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. According to MinnPost, “Because he is running against Franken, I asked him about the Obamacare provision widely credited to Franken, the so-called ‘medical loss ratio,’ which requires health insurers to spend at least 80-85 percent of what they collect in premiums on actual health services for their customers, as opposed to administrative costs, profits, marketing or CEO salaries. Companies that violate the provision are required to send rebates to their customers. McFadden said that provision, which he considers ‘price controls,’ would not be left standing if he has his way.” [MinnPost, 6/26/14]

CNBC: “Obamacare’s $3 Billion Windfall To Insurance Customers.” According to CNBC, “Consumers have gained more than $3.25 billion in benefits over two years from a Obamacare rule that financially compels insurers to keep a tight rein on overhead costs relative to the medical claims they pay out, a new report says. [CNBC, 5/13/14]

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