Commissioner Nickel Statement on the American Health Care Act
Madison, WI—By a 217-213 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel today expressed his appreciation.
"This is an important step towards returning control back to the states. It is important to remember that states already license the insurers, review their rates and forms, assess insurer solvency, respond to consumer complaints, and conduct market conduct reviews," said Commissioner Nickel. "Federal interference through the ACA disrupted Wisconsin's well-functioning market and left us with a system fated for disaster with rising health insurance rates, fewer consumer choices, and insurers questioning continued participation in the Wisconsin market. We are encouraged and stand ready to bring the much needed change that will give consumers more choices and make health insurance more affordable and accessible."
As the ACA was operationalized in Wisconsin, consumers were met with fewer choices, significantly increased rates, and a number of insurers in the individual market that either reduced service areas and plan offerings or left the market completely. With insurers struggling to continue to stay viable and offer affordable coverage to Wisconsin consumers, Wisconsin consistently advocated for state flexibility and state control.
Created by the Legislature in 1870, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.