Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has finally acknowledged the unintended consequences of ObamaCare, particularly the increase in healthcare prices, according to the Wall Street Journal editorial board. Despite being a long-time supporter of the Affordable Care Act, Warren recently had an “epiphany” about the “industry consolidation and price increases caused by the healthcare law.”
In a letter to the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Warren, along with Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., expressed concerns about “vertically-integrated health care companies hiking prescription drug costs” and “evading federal regulations.” They highlighted issues with the nation’s largest health insurers allegedly avoiding compliance with ObamaCare’s medical loss ratio (MLR), leading to “sky-high prescription drug costs and excessive corporate profits.”
The senators pointed out that conglomerates like UnitedHealth Group, which own every link in the healthcare chain, can manipulate the system to inflate medical payments and appear to comply with MLR requirements while keeping more money for themselves.
Despite Democrats’ claims that MLR would benefit patients, it has reportedly led insurers to merge with or acquire pharmacy benefit managers, retail and specialty pharmacies, and healthcare providers. This trend has made healthcare spending less transparent as insurers can shift profits to their affiliates.
Warren, who has consistently voted against ObamaCare repeal efforts, also advocated for a “Medicare for All” proposal during her 2020 presidential campaign. As of now, Warren’s office and HHS have not responded to requests for comment.