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Mitch M.
Republican KY

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  • Obamacare

    by Senator Mitch McConnell

    Posted on 2015-12-03

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    McCONNELL. Mr. President, middle-class Americans continue to call on Washington to build a bridge away from ObamaCare. They want better care. They want real health reform. For too long, Democrats did everything to prevent Congress from passing the type of legislation necessary to help these Americans who are hurting.

    Well, today, Mr. President, that ends. Today, a middle class that has suffered enough from a partisan law will see the Senate vote to build a bridge past ObamaCare and toward better care.

    The Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act we are debating deserves the support of every Member of this body because here is what we know. ObamaCare is a direct attack on the middle class. It is riddled with higher costs and broken promises. It is defined by failure. It is punctuated with hopelessness. And the scale of its many broken promises is matched only by the scale of its defenders' rigid and unfeeling responses to it.

    Let us consider just a few right now. Americans were promised they could keep their health plans if they liked them. It was a promise Democrats made to sell ObamaCare and it is a promise they broke. Americans could only keep their plans if the President liked them, not if they liked them. Americans could only keep their plans if the President liked them.

    Millions saw the coverage they liked ripped away as a result of a callous and partisan law.

    Democrats' response to their broken promise? They tried to dismiss stories about folks losing insurance by saying they had lousy plans anyway and that they should be grateful the government was taking them away. The American people took a different view.

    Here is a note I received from a constituent in Caldwell County when her family lost their plan. Here is what she said: I was lied to by the President and Congress when we were told the ``Affordable'' Care Act would not require us to switch from our current insurance provider. My husband and I work hard, pay a lot of taxes and ask for little from our government. Is it asking too much for government to stay out of my health insurance? Americans were promised that ObamaCare would lower costs and even bring down premiums by $2,500 per family. It is a promise Democrats made to sell ObamaCare, and it is a promise they broke.

    Just last night, we learned from the government's own actuaries that ObamaCare is leading to higher health care costs. We also know that premiums continue to shoot up by double digits in many areas, including Kentucky.

    Democrats' response to their broken promise? President Obama said Americans who already had health insurance ``may not know that they've got a better deal now [under ObamaCare] than they did, but they do.'' Obviously, the President thinks he knows more about our health insurance than we do. Of course, the American people took a different view.

    One Kentuckian wrote me after being forced into an ObamaCare plan she called ``subpar'' with a nearly $5,000 deductible. ``I cried myself to sleep,'' she said. ``I work hard for every penny I earn,'' and this ``is unacceptable.'' Americans were promised ObamaCare would create millions of jobs. It is a promise Democrats made to sell ObamaCare, and it is a promise they broke. ObamaCare is leading to fewer jobs, not more of them. In Kentucky, our Democratic Governor once declared it an ``undisputed fact'' that ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion had added 12,000 jobs to Kentucky's economy. But as Kentuckians now know, he was undisputedly wrong. Not only did those jobs fail to materialize, but health care jobs have actually declined in Kentucky since the passage of ObamaCare.

    Democrats' response to their broken promise? I think this headline about the comments of a senior Democrat captures it perfectly: ``ObamaCare allows workers to `escape' their jobs''--to escape their jobs. Well, the American people took a different view.

    A constituent from Somerset wrote to tell me that ObamaCare's mandates were causing her to lose up to 11 hours--up to 11 hours--per week at work, which meant about $440 less in her pocket every month. ``ObamaCare,'' she said, ``[is] causing us to lose hours [and] lose wages, yet expecting us to spend more.'' Now, Americans were promised ObamaCare wouldn't touch Medicare. Americans were promised that taxes [[Page S8325]] wouldn't increase. Americans were promised shopping for ObamaCare would be as simple as shopping for a TV on Amazon. Three more promises, three more betrayals, and on and on and on it has gone for more than 5 long years.

    Democrats need to understand it is time to face up to the pain and the failure their law has caused. They can keep trying to talk past the middle class. They can keep trying to deny reality. But they have to realize that no one is buying the spin but them.

    Americans are living with the consequences of this broken law and its broken promises every single day. Its negative effects are often felt in the most personal and visceral ways, and Americans are tired of being condescended to. They want change, and they want a bridge to better care, not ObamaCare, and this bill offers it.

    I think Democrats have a particular responsibility to the millions their law has hurt already to help pass the law we have before us. I think the President has a particular responsibility to the millions his law has hurt already to then sign it. That is the best way to build a bridge to a fresh start--to a better, healthier, and stronger beginning.


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