This November, the federal government will automatically enroll Americans into health insurance plans they did not choose. It will not ask their permission.

 This stunning maneuver from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will affect many Nebraskans. It directly contradicts the president’s promise that Americans could keep their health insurance plans. Needless to say, it will have serious consequences.

 Nebraska families could face astronomical costs for visiting a previous doctor who is now out-of-network. It is not clear that HHS did any research on what effect its decision would have on the health care landscape. It appears the department also disregarded valuable input from state insurance regulators, including those in Nebraska.

 I have sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell expressing my strong concern and demanding a thorough explanation. Secretary Burwell has much to explain.

 With its automatic enrollment stunt, HHS will disclose Americans’ personal financial and health information without their permission or notice. This alone is shocking. But there’s more. With ObamaCare, there always is.

In an effort to disguise ObamaCare’s failures, HHS took personal health care decisions right out of the American people’s hands. This lays bare a hard truth: the administration has prioritized a political goal over working to solve a serious problem for thousands of American families.

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 In my letter to Secretary Burwell, I ask specific questions to help understand that problem. How many will be automatically enrolled in plans they did not choose? What options do they have to terminate this new coverage? The administration’s plan requires a new special enrollment period. Did the government give any thought to preventing the fraud, abuse, and waste that routinely plague special enrollment periods?

 For years now, the American people have suffered greatly from ObamaCare’s consequences. As HHS admitted in a brief from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, ObamaCare premiums nationwide climbed by an average of 25 percent this year. In our state, the average increase is expected to be more than 45 percent, as reported by the Omaha World-Herald. Consequently, Nebraskans, including lower-income families, single parents, and young adults, are spending dramatically more on health care.

 HHS’s continued inability to reasonably confront its failures only makes matters worse for them and families across our country. As we have seen, this bullheadedness wastes taxpayer dollars, violates privacy, and limits people’s ability to make their own health care decisions. HHS has not learned from its history; it appears doomed to repeat it.

 These developments are further proof that ObamaCare is collapsing under its own weight and hurting our families in the process. Please know I remain committed to repealing this failed law. I will also continue to support policies that will strengthen and improve our country’s health care system.


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