‘More than a Website’

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the broken promises of Obamacare:

“I think, at this point, Senators from both parties can agree: HealthCare.gov is a rolling disaster.

“Every day seems to bring more near-comic calamity.

“We hear about visitors being told things like their wife is really their daughter. Or that they have multiple spouses. Or that they’re unable to apply ‘due to current incarceration.’

“Unsurprisingly, just 12 percent of Americans think the rollout has gone well.

“That’s less than the 14 percent of Americans who believe in Bigfoot.

“Those who’ve succeeded in actually enrolling in a plan are vastly outnumbered by those who’ve lost plans.

“And the real tragedy here is that many who’ve succeeded are finding out the product is worse than the web site.

“I mean, the only thing this web site seems to be good at right now is creating punch lines for late-night comedians.

“It’s almost like Americans are being forced to live through a real-life SNL sketch. And, if you caught last week’s opener, well… it’s getting harder to tell the Obamacare headlines from the Obamacare punchlines these days.

“Paper applications…800 numbers…applying by fax…Obamacare appears to be leading us boldly into the 1980s.

“Remember, before this thing launched, the Administration swore up and down that Obamacare was ready to go.

“Democrat leaders in Congress told Americans that the law’s implementation was fabulous, that Obamacare was wonderful. The President reassured everyone that it was working the way it’s supposed to.

“And, of course, Washington Democrats bragged about their fancy new website. The website that cost taxpayers $100 million…$200 million…$300 million…well, no one’s quite sure. That’s just one of the unanswered questions we hope they’ll clarify soon.

“Now, to be fair, the President likes to say that Obamacare is about more than just a website.

“He’s absolutely right. And that’s why fixing a website won’t solve the larger problem here.

“The larger problem is Obamacare itself.

“The larger problem is what the few people who actually have signed up for coverage have discovered about this law.

“The larger problem is how Obamacare is hurting people out there.

“…It’s about college graduates and middle-class families getting hit with massive premium increases they can’t afford.

“…It’s about workers seeing their hours cut and their paychecks shrink because of this law.

“…It’s about the millions of Americans who will lose their current health coverage because of Obamacare—despite the President’s promises.

“According to news reports, the Obama Administration knew for at least three years that millions of Americans would not be able to keep their health coverage. The President’s Press Secretary basically admitted yesterday that Americans would lose coverage too.

“Remember, this is the same President who said – and I’m quoting – ‘If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period…No one will take it away, no matter what.’

“This is just one of the many reasons Americans feel betrayed.

“One woman quoted in the Los Angeles Times put it this way: ‘All we’ve been hearing for the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it…[well] I’m infuriated because I was lied to.’

“And here’s how one North Carolinian put it to NBC News: ‘Everybody’s worried about whether the website works or not, but that’s fixable. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff isn’t fixable.’ That was after he lost a $228 a month plan and was faced with the choice of taking comparable plan for $1,208 or the best option he could find on the exchanges – one for $948 a month. ‘I’m sitting here looking at this, thinking we ought to just pay the fine and just get insurance when we’re sick,’ he said.

“Americans up and down the country are beginning to experience the costs of Obamacare firsthand – and they’re realizing that they’re the ones stuck with the bill.

“It’s not fair. It’s not right. And Republicans are going to keep fighting to get our constituents relief from this partisan law.

“Of course, the most logical course would be to simply stop this trainwreck and start over. But Washington Democrats still appear more interested in protecting the President’s namesake legacy than protecting their constituents from this law.

“I hope that will change, because we can’t move forward without them.

“We’ve seen some signs that some Democrats are coming around – slowly, slowly, much more slowly than we’d like.

“And I’m happy to engage in discussions to see where we might find common ground. Hopefully we’ll eventually get to the increasingly obvious endgame here: repeal, followed by true bipartisan health care reform.

“So look: It may be universally accepted that HealthCare.gov is a disaster, but – as the President reminds us – that disaster does not exist in a vacuum. The failure of the Obamacare website is emblematic of the larger failure of Obamacare…and of the kind of problems we can expect if Washington Democrats continue their stubborn defense of this partisan law.”

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