Nomination of Patricia M. Wald to Be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Boardby Senator Ron Johnson
Posted on 2013-12-11
JOHNSON of Wisconsin. Mr. President, last night I read a number
of emails we received of the hundreds we received from constituents in
Wisconsin specifically talking about the problems they have had in
losing their coverage and certainly finding this law not being
They use words like ``scared,'' ``begging for help,'' feeling they were just collateral damage in this scheme that simply is not protecting patients or offering affordable care. They cannot fathom that this is actually happening to them because they knew it was not supposed to.
Today I rise to read an email received from Steve Walrath from Beloit. Steve writes: I am 54 years old, in good health and no prior conditions. I just received my health insurance renewal bill. I used to have affordable and user-friendly health care that cost about $290 a month with no copay. According to my renewal letter from Dean health care, my choices are now $854 a month with a 10-percent copay, up to $1,315 a month with a zero-percent copay.
Let me put that in perspective. He was paying $290 a month with no copay, so if he wants a similar plan he will now experience a 440- percent increase, up to $1,315. If he wants to pay a 10-percent copay, it will be a 285-percent increase. This was not supposed to happen. This is not what President Obama promised the American people, the citizens of Wisconsin.
Steve goes on to write: Where is the promise of reduced insurance rates under the Affordable Care Act? What choices do you want me to make after January 1? Dental care or health insurance? An occasional night out or health care? Helping my kids get settled into home ownership or health care? What choice do you want me to make? This increase of over 300 percent is a betrayal of the laws you passed and promises you made. ``Can't be denied coverage'' doesn't mean we can afford it. Not when it's more than my mortgage payment. Which of the above choices do you want me to make after January 1? That is just the sad fact. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not protecting patients, it is not providing affordable care, and it is not about choice. It is about coercion, and I am asking the President of the United States and I am asking our Democratic colleagues here in the Senate and the House to work with Republicans to start limiting the damage, to start repairing the harm that is being caused to citizens of Wisconsin and America.
I yield the floor.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.