Obamacare Continues To Leave American Families Behind
‘Doing nothing on Obamacare is not an option. That’s why we’ve been working hard to move beyond the failures of Obamacare with better-care legislation. We want to stabilize and reform the collapsing insurance markets. We want to put downward pressure on premiums. We want to put upward lift on choice. We want to give states dramatic new tools that can drive a new era of improved health outcomes, especially for those most in need, and we want to put more affordable insurance in reach for Americans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding efforts by Senate Republicans to provide the American people with a better alternative to Obamacare:
“I’ve often come to the floor to relay the stories of Kentuckians who have suffered under Obamacare. Under Obamacare, Kentuckians have seen their premiums skyrocket — by an average of 75% since 2013. Under Obamacare, Kentuckians have seen their options for health insurance plummet — this year, families living in 90% of the counties in Kentucky will have little or no options of insurers to pick from. That's two options or less. We all know the statistics in our own states.
“We also know that the pain of Obamacare is about far more than just numbers on a page. Behind each of Obamacare’s unaffordable premium increases, there is a family struggling to make ends meet. Behind all the canceled plans and restricted choices, there are countless individuals who’ve been left behind by this failing law.
“Today Vice President Pence is traveling to Lexington to hear directly from Kentuckians, including small business owners, who have struggled under Obamacare. As the Vice President knows, Obamacare’s pain is about more than just skyrocketing costs and plummeting choices. Its taxes, mandates, and heavy-handed regulations hurt too. They have subjected small businesses across the country to serious challenges.
“Obamacare has been hurting the men and women we represent for many years, in many different ways. I’m thankful we finally have an administration that seems to care, an administration that has made a real effort to actually listen to those who have been forced to endure the negative consequences of this failing law.
“Obamacare has been spiraling toward collapse for years. Today, it teeters on the brink of total meltdown — threatening to hurt even more of our friends and loved ones. We can’t allow that to happen. Doing nothing on Obamacare is not an option. That’s why we’ve been working hard to move beyond the failures of Obamacare with better-care legislation. We want to stabilize and reform the collapsing insurance markets. We want to put downward pressure on premiums. We want to put upward lift on choice. We want to give states dramatic new tools that can drive a new era of improved health outcomes, especially for those most in need, and we want to put more affordable insurance in reach for Americans Obamacare continues to leave behind.
“If we sit on our hands, families will continue to suffer. And, if we let this opportunity to move beyond Obamacare pass us by, what would our options be then? One idea, from the Democratic Leader, is simply to throw money at insurance companies. No reforms. No changes. Just a multi-billion dollar Band-Aid. Another idea, from many other Democrats, is to quadruple down on Obamacare with a government-run ‘single payer’ system. It’s called ‘single payer’ because there is one payer, or insurer, the government. Nearly every health-care decision could be decided by a federal bureaucrat. Taxes could go up astronomically. The total cost could add up to $32 trillion, according to an estimate of a leading proposal.
“Americans deserve better than a massive expansion of a failed idea. Americans deserve better than a Band-Aid. Americans deserve better than Obamacare, what they really deserve is better care — and we will continue to work together to provide it. We’re having productive discussions about the future of health care, just like we should be doing. And soon, it will be time to move those discussions to the Senate floor.
“Once we proceed to the bill, members — Republicans and Democrats alike — will have the opportunity to engage in robust debate and a robust amendment process right here on the Senate floor. I’m sure members will have other good ideas then, and I hope they will offer them. They’ll certainly have the opportunity to offer them. But, if the Senate is prevented from even proceeding to the bill, none of us will have an opportunity. Not Republicans. Not Democrats. Not anyone.
“I regret that our Democratic colleagues made clear from the outset that they weren’t interested in working seriously with us to pursue the kind of comprehensive reforms needed to truly move beyond the pain of Obamacare. But they can have a new opportunity soon. Once we get on the bill, they will have another chance to offer serious solutions. I hope they offer more than just a Band-Aid. I hope they offer more than just a $32 trillion re-up of a failed idea.
“But whatever they’d like to propose, I hope they take this chance to open debate and advance the legislative process — for every Senator, for every American. Leaving the American people to suffer under the Obamacare status quo is unacceptable. We’ve seen the pain in our home states. We’ve seen the heartbreak across our country. The American people are relying on us to bring them real relief. Let’s keep working hard to deliver just that.”
Related Issues: Obamacare, Health Care