A picture of Representative Phil Gingrey
Phil G.
Former Republican GA 11
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    Doctors Caucus

    by Former Representative Phil Gingrey

    Posted on 2013-02-14

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    GINGREY of Georgia. I thank the gentleman from Tennessee for yielding to me. He has already alluded to some of the things that I am going to say in my remarks but the most important thing that he stated: On Tuesday night, President Obama stood here in this Chamber and he gave his State of the Union address and said: Patients enjoy stronger protections than ever before. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.

    Well, President Obama obviously didn't get the memo. We must not have read the same CBO report, Mr. Speaker. ObamaCare is not slowing the growth of health care costs. ObamaCare is driving up the costs, jeopardizing insurance coverage, and placing excessive burdens on small businesses, limiting their potential for growth.

    In 2010, President Obama and the Democrats assured us that their health care law would lower costs, it would cover millions of uninsured Americans. Well, as Dr. Roe said, fast forward 3 years and we have seen nothing but broken promises and this enormous pricetag. Just last week, the CBO--the Congressional Budget Office--the unbiased scorekeeper that works for Congress, reported that under ObamaCare--PPACA, health care costs will increase and 7 million Americans will lose their coverage. These are the facts, despite any State of the Union rhetoric.

    Young Americans will also be severely impacted with an exorbitant rise in health insurance premiums due to a provision in ObamaCare. A lot of people are not aware of this, Mr. Speaker. This provision requires insurance companies to reduce their rates for seniors--a laudable goal. Premium costs for individuals under the age of 40, though, are going to significantly rise to even out that balance. By limiting these--we call them age ban discounts--that are called for in ObamaCare, a 3-to-1 ratio. So someone, let's say as an example, that is in their very early sixties and they're not eligible for Medicare at age 65, and they already possibly have multiple systems diseases, as we say in medical parlance, and are on many prescription drugs, expensive drugs--they're a much greater risk in regard to an insurance premium coverage of busting the ceiling on that every year. But under ObamaCare it says their premiums cannot be more than three times the premium of someone who is 28 years old, 10 feet tall, and bulletproof.

    As a result, these are some of the problems that that creates within these exchanges. It will absolutely discourage the younger people from buying insurance. They'll pay the fine. They will not pay those higher premiums so that they stay within that 3-to-1 ratio. It will likely force young healthy individuals out of the insurance market. That's some of those 7 million we're talking about that are going to lose their insurance because of this.

    Let me just give a real specific, and then I'll yield back to the gentleman so he can yield time to our other colleagues. For a 27-year- old earning $33,500 a year, premiums are expected to jump from $2,400 a year to almost $3,200 a year. This is an outrageous increase in costs that young people can't afford. If they get a job in this current climate where we've had 7.6 percent or higher unemployment--the entire time that President Obama has been in office--they're not going to be able to afford these premiums. And they clearly are not going to pay for them. ObamaCare is negatively impacting the insurance market on two fronts: it forces rising premium costs on the young, and it increases the total uninsured population, as I stated earlier.

    So at this point I'll yield back to the gentleman from Tennessee and I hope to remain with my colleagues for the remainder of the hour as we continue this colloquy.

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