Senator David Perdue: It’s Time To Send Broken Obamacare Law Back To President’s Desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today highlighted the failures of Obamacare and the flawed law’s impact on Americans’ health care choices and insurance costs.
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“I rise to speak today about a massive expansion of government that was fundamentally flawed from the start: the Affordable Care Act, or better known as Obamacare.
In the past 100 years, we have had three super majorities, all Democratic. The first gave us the New Deal, the second the Great Society, and the third gave us Obamacare and Dodd-Frank.
In many ways, these progressive, sweeping government spending programs have failed the very people they claim to champion – the working women and men of America – and together, they come at a massive expense to taxpayers and still continue to add to the nation's debt crisis.
Right now, this law is saddling Americans with more than $1.2 trillion dollars in new taxes over the next 10 years. In my state alone, Obamacare is costing taxpayers over $2.7 billion dollars over the next decade.
The Senate’s actions this week will help reverse the harmful effects of Obamacare and remove the law’s burdensome taxes on American families.
When I’m back home in Georgia, one of the most frequent and sobering concerns I hear about is the insidious, negative impact of Obamacare—whether it’s reduced hours, increased premiums, increased deductibles, or just the mere fact that they can’t get the doctor they want. Now, I hear this more than any other complaint about what’s going on in Washington today.
By enacting this law, President Obama and Washington put our health care system—almost one-sixth of our total economy—under government control and the consequences are disastrous.
Obamacare has driven up the cost of health care. In addition, premium costs and deductible costs are up, precluding many Americans from even applying for coverage. The law has eliminated health care choices, forced rural hospitals out of business, created a doctor shortage, and failed to live up to the expectations promised to the American people by the Obama Administration.
First, Georgians are seeing their health care costs double. Just this week, a headline on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution read, ‘Health care costs on the rise in 2016’ and ‘some Affordable Care Act plans seeing double-digit hikes.’
The article went on to describe the peril of a Georgia family that plans to cancel their insurance plan because it is no longer affordable for them, and this family is not alone. Deductibles, as you just heard in the prior speech, have risen to a point now where people cannot afford the health care plan that was picked for them.
In Georgia, premium increases are expected to range from 27 to 29 percent for Alliant Health individual policyholders, and the problem could only get worse as more insurance companies exit the Obamacare exchange program. And, deductibles are increasing seven times as fast as wages are increasing.
Last week, UnitedHealth Group—the largest health insurance company in the country—announced it is considering dropping out of Obamacare because it is losing so much money and the marketplace doesn’t appear to be sustaining itself.
As a matter of fact, yesterday, UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley even admitted that joining the Obamacare exchange was, ‘For us a bad decision.’ He went on to say, ‘We did not believe it would form this slowly, be this porous, or become this severe.’
Washington cannot overlook this warning. Like my wife Bonnie and I, many people have already had their plans cancelled no matter what the Administration said, if you like your policy you can keep your policy. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. I can personally tell you that did not happen. A lot of people have lost access to their preferred doctors or were forced into insurance plans that cost more, not less.
If UnitedHealth Group—the largest player in this space—exits, Americans will only have even less choice, not more.
Aside from driving up health care costs and limiting insurance options, Obamacare is forcing rural hospitals out of business as well. Since 2010 alone, five rural hospitals in Georgia have closed and there is the possibility for more in the immediate future. Across the country more than 50 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and more than 280 are in danger of shutting down. Each closure eliminates local jobs and Americans access to health care.
Additionally, given the growing aging population, Obamacare is contributing to a dangerous doctor shortage. The Association of American Medical Colleges is predicting a shortage of as many as 90,000 doctors by 2025.
Another survey by the Physicians Foundation found that 81 percent of doctors describe themselves as either over-extended or at full capacity, and 44 percent have said they planned to cut back on the number of patients they see, they may even retire, or work part-time. This further reduces access for people who need medical care.
Finally, the Obama Administration’s promise of greater access to health insurance has proven to be totally misleading.
In fact, almost half of health insurance co-ops created under Obamacare have actually collapsed due to their failing financial performance. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Americans scrambling to find sustainable health insurance for their families. And the ones that do find it, can’t afford the deductibles that as we have said, have risen dramatically.
President Obama promised that his massive restructuring of the health care industry would give more people insurance, but in reality, the law continues to disrupt Americans’ health care at every turn, while failing to cover anywhere near as many people as its supporters predicted.
I’m counted as one who signed up for Obamacare. I didn’t have a choice. My plan was cancelled. My access to my doctor was eliminated. I had no choice but I am counted as a statistic as one who signed up for it.
Make no mistake, our health care system needs to change but one thing is clear, Obamacare is an ill-conceived law and is hurting people and our economy. It must be fully repealed and replaced.
Georgians and Americans want access to affordable health care options and transportability across state lines. People want to keep their health care decisions between themselves and their doctors, and not have to go through a bureaucrat.
There are commonsense health care policies we can debate now that would lower costs, increase accessibility and transportability, and restore the sacred doctor-patient relationship.
It won’t be easy, but it is achievable. We need to start debating replacement plans now. There are alternatives to Washington taking over our health care system—almost 17 percent of our economy.
Today, for the sake of our kids and grandkids, we are taking a very important step to repeal Obamacare and stop government-mandated insurance. We are also removing Washington’s tax on the very medical devices patients and doctors rely on to deliver quality care.
It is quite clear this law was flawed from the very beginning. The website failed, access went down, deductibles went up, and premiums are still skyrocketing. The Obama Administration is in total denial and they misled the American people and failed to live up to the promises made during campaigns and afterwards.
What further evidence do we need to realize this law—this sweeping expansion of the federal government that pushes more tax dollars to Washington—is not working?
In order to solve our debt crisis, we absolutely must fix this health care crisis, which is why the Senate is eliminating Obamacare’s fines on individuals and businesses, and finally sending this broken law back to the President’s desk.
Today is a momentous day. This week, we will actually have this vote. I urge my colleagues to put partisanship aside and to do what is right for the people of America.”
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