Cantwell Statement on DHHS Report

SEATTLE, WA - U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today issued the following statement on the report by the Department of Health and Human Services detailing double-digit health insurance premium rate increases across five states. "Today's report underscores why we must not let political gridlock prevent us from addressing the crisis in health care and health care insurance. As we see steep increases in health insurance premiums, it is not hard to figure out why the big insurance companies are reporting robust profits. The insurance increases detailed by the report in California, Michigan, Connecticut, Oregon and Maine are a sign of what is to come across the country. As the report points out, rates for some individual health plans right here in Washington state increased by up to 40 percent until the state imposed stiffer regulation on premiums in early 2008. My top priorities in health care reform all along have been on cost control, both in delivery of health care and coverage. When you have expensive health care you have expensive insurance, and we need to look at solutions that lower costs. I am confident we can get bipartisan support for that goal." The Report: Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System, is available at http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/insuranceprospers/index.html. ###