A Reduction of Military Forcesby Representative Todd Rokita
Posted on 2014-01-16
ROKITA. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of one of my constituents--Janet, from Crawfordsville--pictured here with her husband, Steve. Like millions of our fellow Americans, she is finding out just how deceptive ObamaCare's cheerleaders were when they sold this insidious law to the American people.
Following surgical treatment for cancer last year, Janet was receiving radiation treatment, and, as if battling a serious illness weren't stressful enough, Janet recently lost her job and was notified that the insurance provided through her severance package would be ending soon. Her family faced the decision to either continue the same coverage under what we call ``COBRA'' or enroll in an ObamaCare plan. She was skeptical of the process of enrolling in ObamaCare, but as the end date of her employer-sponsored insurance loomed, she was reassured by the news that the President and his team had fixed the technical glitches plaguing healthcare.gov.
Mr. Speaker, I wish I could report that the story ends there on a good note, but it only gets worse, as it does for millions of Americans.
Imagine Janet's frustration when she encountered glitch after glitch throughout the enrollment process. She spent hours on the phone with call center workers, only to find out that the call center workers were as bewildered by the Web site as she was. Several times, she was cut off after holding for over 2 hours.
Mr. Speaker, I would surmise that Members of this Congress get frustrated when holding for a few minutes for anything--2 hours repeatedly, a cancer patient who can't get coverage.
Eventually, Janet had to enroll via the United States mail. This is after taxpayers--and future generations, for that matter, since we borrow 4 percent of what we spend around here--paid nearly $500 million for a Web site that was supposed to handle a relatively simple signup process. Believing she had successfully enrolled, Janet submitted the appropriate payments for her ObamaCare coverage. She paid for it, Mr. Speaker. Unfortunately, Janet did not receive any confirmation that those payments were received or that she had actually enrolled in her plan.
Adding to the uncertainty, neither Obama's bureaucrats nor the insurer can verify her enrollment now. Despite efforts, my staff could not get an answer from the bureaucrats either because of how this law was designed. Meanwhile, Janet continues to receive notices that payment is due, again, adding insult to injury since she already submitted her payment.
It still doesn't end there.
Janet was also informed that she can no longer continue her cancer treatment with her doctor of choice as the provider would only be able to accept certain health care plans off the ObamaCare exchange. The plan Janet chose did not qualify, and it was virtually impossible to verify this during the enrollment period. Janet will have to continue her cancer treatment with a new doctor several times per week. Thankfully, she is allowed to do that, but the doctor is a 60-mile round trip drive.
ObamaCare has only served to exacerbate already trying and complicated health care issues with bureaucratic red tape and customer service so terrible that it is one only this Federal Government can provide. Like many Hoosiers, Janet was misled by ObamaCare's proponents. Her choices have been severely limited, and she is hardly able to shop around for a doctor she is comfortable with. This is not health care reform. ObamaCare is leading to a health care crisis.
I continue to receive stories from Hoosiers--and I know you do as well--about how ObamaCare has misleadingly done the complete opposite of what was promised. Insurance policies continue to be canceled. Premiums are skyrocketing, and deductibles are soaring. Choice has been reduced, not amplified, and specialty services are in increasingly short supply. In other words, they are being rationed.
I will continue fighting to repeal and replace this insidious law for people like Janet and for millions of Americans in similar situations.