Ever since the passage of Obamacare, I’ve been traveling around Kentucky listening to what my constituents have to say about this disastrous law. Over the past few weeks, I’ve visited many health care facilities and heard first-hand from doctors, nurses, other health care employees, and patients about the law’s impact on Kentucky families, businesses, and hospitals.
In all, I’ve spoken with concerned Kentuckians at 51 health care town halls around the state. What I’ve heard at every stop is proof that the damage Obamacare is doing isn’t just speculation—it’s reality.
All across Kentucky, health care professionals have expressed concerns about an increase in paperwork, rising costs, and burdensome federal regulations that will not only negatively affect hospitals, but will also place a major burden on patients and the family members who care for them. People are deeply concerned, and they know the problems are just beginning.
At St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Florence, doctors overwhelmingly expressed their disapproval of the law because it will decrease payments to doctors and hospitals. These lower reimbursement rates will have a detrimental impact on the type of care patients receive.
At Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, employees nervously discussed the recent news that one hospital in the area had announced layoffs and cited the increased costs of Obamacare as the reason. The government has raided Medicare to pay for the health law, leaving less money for doctors.
In Bowling Green, staff at the Greenview Regional Hospital expressed concern over the crushing amount of red-tape, regulations and paperwork the law requires doctors and nurses to complete. More time filing forms means less time caring for patients.
I also heard from Kentuckians at medical facilities in Hardinsburg, Morehead, Irvine, Paris, Cynthiana, Carlisle, and London, just to name a few others.
Three years ago, I warned that Obamacare would raise costs, kill jobs, grow the government, and slow the economy. I wish I had been wrong. But those warnings are proving true.
The regulations for this law stand more than seven feet tall—so far.
Kentuckians who work in hospitals are not the only ones concerned. Small-business owners are seeing insurance premiums skyrocket to levels they simply can’t afford. Some fear they may have to shutter their businesses altogether.
And too many Kentucky businesses are hesitant to hire new employees until they know how much more Obamacare will force them to pay.
This is the last thing we need at a time when unemployment in Kentucky is still above the national average.
Obamacare was a colossal mistake, and there’s truly only one way to fix it.
It needs to be repealed, root and branch, and replaced with common-sense, step-by-step reforms that will actually lower health care costs and that protect Americans’ access to the care they need and the doctors they choose at a lower cost.
To truly help people burdened by rising health care costs, and to help our economy, we must continue this fight until Obamacare, and all its regrettable consequences, are a distant memory.
By Senator Mitch McConnell, September 13, 2013