WASHINGTON, D.C. | January 13, 2017
Warnings of Obamacare’s negative effects fell on deaf ears as the law made a disastrous debut and upended the health care stability of millions of Americans. In 2013, President Obama claimed the law would expand healthcare choices, saying:
This law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.
More choices and competition? The reality is insurers are rapidly exiting Obamacare marketplaces in states across the country — leaving Americans with fewer options, and in some cases, only one insurer:
- South Carolina: More than 200,000 people face fewer choices this enrollment period as two of the three insurers in the state left the Obamacare marketplace and the remaining insurer dropped a popular plan option.
- Tennessee: Nearly 131,000 people were forced to find new coverage for 2017 when Tennessee’s largest insurer abandoned the Obamacare marketplace in the state’s three most populated cities.
- North Carolina: More than 250,000 people will lose their health care plans and be forced to find new coverage as two of the state’s three insurers dropped out of the Obamacare marketplace. Ninety-five of the state’s 100 counties will only have one insurer.
And that’s not all. Small business owners are struggling as well. Some turned to Obamacare’s Small Business Health Options Program, but the vast majority declined to sign up after realizing the cost of health insurance coverage was too expensive.
Yet in October, President Obama offered a praising look-back on the law’s legacy, saying:
The [law] has done what it was designed to do: It gave us affordable health care.
Affordable health care? The truth is Americans are paying more for less. And states across the country are reporting double-digit premium increases in the Obamacare marketplace this year:
- Arizona: Premiums for the average plan increased by 116 percent.
- Oklahoma: Premium increases ranged between 58 and 96 percent.
- Minnesota: Premium increases ranged between 50 and 67 percent.
- Illinois: Premium increases for some ranged between 40 to 50 percent.
But it’s not just the individual market that took a hit. Businesses and their employees were also burdened. On the fifth anniversary of the law’s passage, President Obama claimed the law was helping employers, saying:
But the bottom line is this for the American people: [The law] is saving money for families and for businesses.
Saving money for businesses? Under Obamacare, small business employers with as few as 50 full-time employees are subject to the law’s costly mandates and tax penalties. And in 2016, the cost of health insurance was cited as the number one problem small businesses face.
For the first time in nearly seven years, Congress has the opportunity to undo the damage done by the president’s flawed law and implement the positive health care reforms Republicans have long supported — reforms that would expand coverage, lower health care costs, and promote a healthy workforce.
The time for repeal is now. That is why Congress is taking the necessary steps to provide relief from the disastrous health care law and ensure a stable transition to the affordable, patient-centered health care the American people deserve.
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