Obamacare: If You Like It, You (Can’t) Keep It

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the need to protect constituents from the consequences of Obamacare:

“I recently received a disturbing note from a constituent in Burlington, Kentucky. And unfortunately, I suspect a lot of my colleagues have been receiving notes just like it. This gentleman said that after receiving several letters from his insurer, it became clear to him that the President was being misleading when he said that if you like the plan you have, you can keep it. That’s because he found out that his policy, which came into effect just two months after the law’s arbitrary cutoff date for grandfathered plans, will be discontinued next year. And he’s not happy, especially given the fact that a plan on the Obamacare exchanges will dramatically drive up his insurance costs, from under $400 a month to more than $700 – with zero subsidies available. ‘My wife and I are 54,’ he wrote. ‘We don’t need maternity care and we don’t need Obamacare.’

“Well, he’s right to be upset.

“This is simply not in keeping with the spirit of the President’s often repeated promise.

“Perhaps the Administration would like to tell him he should’ve just done a better job of keeping up with its regulatory dictats. But what about the millions who purchased their plans relying on the President’s promise that they could keep them? What about the husbands and wives across Kentucky who suffered when two of our largest employers had to drop spousal coverage?

“What about the husbands and wives across Kentucky who suffered when two of our largest employers had to drop spousal coverage?

“What about the folks who’ve lost coverage at work?

“What about all the smaller paychecks and lost jobs?

“What about the part-time-ization of our economy?

“This law is a mess.

“As Secretary Sebelius has said herself yesterday: “The system is not functioning.” Maybe she was referring to more narrow problems with HealthCare.gov. But as the President reminds us over and over, Obamacare is about more than just a website. And that’s why, if ‘the system is not functioning,’ it’s just another sign that Obamacare itself is not working. The President and his Washington Democrat allies understand this. That’s why the White House is so eager to enroll everybody – other than themselves – into the exchanges. It’s why they handed out a year-long delay to businesses.

“And that’s why the Democrats’ Big Labor allies are looking for their own special carveouts.

“But what about the middle class?

“So far, Washington Democrats have resisted every attempt to exempt the struggling constituents we represent.

“The folks who rammed this partisan bill through know it’s not ready for primetime, and they seem to want no part of it themselves. But for you, the middle class, it seems to be ‘tough luck.’

“We’ve even seen some of the same folks try to stamp out innovations that would help folks get out from under some of Obamacare’s more crushing burdens. That’s why they’ve launched a crusade against small businesses who dare to experiment with self-insurance and other pioneering ideas. Maybe the administration doesn’t like self-insurance because it represents a free market alternative to Obamacare. But the fact is, nearly 100 million Americans are already availing themselves of it. And I’m sure most of them really like the greater flexibility and affordability it provides.

“So it’s time these folks spent their energy working with us to look after the middle class. And to bring about the kind of reforms that will actually lower costs and that our constituents want. Because they shouldn’t have to wake up to news like this:

“Florida Blue is dropping 300,000 customers

“Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans opened the mail last week to find their health insurance plan would no longer exist in 2014

“Half of the roughly 600,000 people in Kentucky’s private insurance market will have their current insurance plans discontinued

“This isn’t fair. It’s not what Americans were promised. And Republicans intend to keep fighting for the middle-class families suffering under this law. I hope more of our Democrat colleagues will join us in this battle as well.”

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