Senator Chuck Schumer is retracting comments he made conceding that rising health-insurance premiums are “in part” due to Obamacare.
In an interview that aired last night on a local New York television station, Schumer told a reporter that “our insurance department is empowered to protect families and we’re going to watch them like a hawk to make sure they do, because if they don’t, these rates could go through the roof.”
“It is because of Obamacare?” the News10NBC reporter asked him.
“It’s in part because of Obamacare,” admitted Schumer, “but health-care costs have been going up by double digits for years and years and years.”
In a statement to Talking Points Memo this afternoon, Schumer insisted that Obamacare is slowing the rise of health-insurance costs rather than contributing to their increase:
The rise in healthcare premiums is market-driven and predates Obamacare. The fact is, the law is already working to significantly slow that rise, and ensure a higher quality of care to boot.
His spokesman told TPM that Schumer’s laying part of the blame for rising costs on Obamacare was “not what he meant.”