Dismayed by news of insurance rate increases in his home state, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander lashed out that Obamacare is "spiraling out of control."
The Republican pointed to reports that two health insurers needed to refile rate requests in Tennessee for 2017 Obamacare plans to continue offering plans in the state. The two insurers are Humana and Cigna, which already asked for premium increases of 29 and 23 percent, respectively, according to the Tennessean.
Obamacare requires insurers that want an increase of more than 10 percent to publicly disclose the proposal. Insurance regulators then negotiate with the insurer and usually can reduce the increase.
The two insurers told Tennessee regulators that they now believe that those increases aren't enough to cover expected claims, the Tennessean reported.
Alexander said that the new request is only "the most recent proof that Obamacare is spiraling out of control."
He then called on Democrats to work with Republicans on "reforms that provide state flexibility, helping families access the care they need at a price they can afford."
His statements come a day after the Obama administration released a report that showed the medical costs for Obamacare enrollees was largely unchanged from 2014 to 2015. Costs for enrollees in private coverage not on the exchanges rose by 3 to 6 percent, the report said.
The administration alluded that the relatively unchanged rate was due to a higher enrollment in Obamacare and potentially healthier enrollees.
When Obamacare was implemented in 2014, enrollees were sicker than expected. That, coupled with insurers underpricing their plans, led to financial losses.
A report from the Commonwealth Fund found that most Obamacare insurers didn't turn a profit in 2014.
Insurers appear to be raising premiums in 2017 as part of a market correction in Obamacare. The research firm Avalere Health has estimated silver plans, the middle tier of Obamacare plans, will rise by an average of 11 percent in 2017.