McConnell On Obamacare: We Have To Act
‘I regret that Democrats announced early on that they did not want to be part of a serious bipartisan process to move past the failures of Obamacare. Their Obamacare law is collapsing all around us. It’s hurting Americans. It will continue to hurt even more if we allow the unsustainable status quo to continue.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate Republicans’ commitment to rescuing the American people hurt by Obamacare:
“We’ve been debating Obamacare’s failures and what to do about them for so many years now. We’ve heard so many distressed stories from constituents who’ve been hurt by Obamacare. Thankfully, the Senate will soon have a chance to turn the page on this failed law. As I said yesterday, the entire Senate Republican Conference has been active and engaged on legislation to move beyond the failures of Obamacare for quite some time. We’ve had many productive discussions on the way forward. We’re united in our belief that the American people deserve better than Obamacare’s unsustainable status quo.
“And while it’s disappointing that our Democratic colleagues decided early on that they didn’t want to work seriously with us on these solutions, Senate Republicans remain focused on the following: Stabilizing insurance markets, which are collapsing under Obamacare; Improving the affordability of health insurance, which is spiking under Obamacare; Freeing Americans from Obamacare’s mandates, which force them to buy insurance they don’t want; Strengthening Medicaid for those who need it most; And preserving access to care for patients with pre-existing conditions.
“Insurance markets are collapsing under Obamacare – we want to stabilize them. Obamacare's champions said the law would bring more health care choices. But for too many, just the opposite has occurred. In the years since Obamacare’s passage, we read story after story about co-ops collapsing, insurers fleeing, families losing the plans they liked, and trusted doctors and hospitals slipping out of reach. Today, Obamacare is nearing full collapse. Americans in nearly 1 out of every 2 counties could find themselves left with just one option under Obamacare next year — which isn’t really a choice at all — or even worse, find themselves without any option period.
“This long-term Obamacare trend is not sustainable. We have to act. And we are. Health costs are spiking under Obamacare — we want to improve affordability. Obamacare’s champions said the law would make health care more affordable. But for too many, just the opposite has occurred. In the years since Obamacare’s passage, we received so many calls and letters from families who’d been hit with soaring out-of-pocket costs and skyrocketing premiums. In fact, a recent Health and Human Services report showed that premiums in the individual market rose by an average of 105% since the law was fully implemented in 2013.
“Today, the situation continues to spiral out of control. Americans in states across the country could find themselves facing more double-digit premium increases next year — as high as 30%, we learned just yesterday, in Washington State; or 32% in North Carolina; or 40% in Maine. Another recent report found that nearly 2 million Americans who selected an Obamacare plan ended up canceling their coverage after just a few weeks, and the most common reason they cited for doing so was because it was too expensive. This long-term Obamacare trend is not sustainable. We have to act. And we are.
“Americans are being forced to buy insurance they don’t want under Obamacare — we want to free them from that mandate. When Obamacare's champions pushed their health law on the American people, they enacted onerous mandates that forced too many families into plans that they didn't like or couldn't afford. In the years since Obamacare’s passage, we heard from Americans who decided that it was simply more affordable for them to take their chances, pay the fine, and go without insurance altogether.
“Today, Obamacare’s collapse is making the situation even more unfair. Insurance markets are collapsing, leaving Americans with fewer options. Health costs are spiking, making many of the remaining options even more expensive. That means Americans could be left trapped, forced by law to purchase Obamacare insurance but left without the means to do so. This long-term Obamacare trend is not sustainable. We have to act. And we are. These are just a few of the major areas that Senate Republicans are focused on as we continue working on legislative solutions to move away from Obamacare. In doing so, we will also work toward strengthening Medicaid and preserving access to care for patients with preexisting conditions — two areas of concern for many across the nation.
“I regret that Democrats announced early on that they did not want to be part of a serious bipartisan process to move past the failures of Obamacare. Their Obamacare law is collapsing all around us. It’s hurting Americans. It will continue to hurt even more if we allow the unsustainable status quo to continue. So we have a responsibility to act, and Senate Republicans are — working together, guided by the principles I mentioned, and acting on behalf of the Americans who deserve better than the status quo, better than the continuing pain of Obamacare.”
Related Issues: Health Care, Obamacare