The past few weeks have been frustrating; frustrating for me and frustrating for you. I would like to say thank you to all who have called or written in to one of our offices, participated in one of our tele-town halls, or shared an opinion on one of our social media pages. I greatly value your opinion and look forward to reviewing more of your correspondence as I receive it.
Since the health insurances exchanges officially opened on October 1st, I've heard from many of you about the impact of Obamacare on your families. I'd like to share a few excerpts:
"I just want to put a name with how the Affordable Care Act will affect my family of four. I am 45 years old and self-employed. Under the ACA, a similar policy to what I have now will increase my premiums from $669 per month to $968 per month. The new plan also reduces what my policy pays once I reach my $5,450 deductible from 100% to 50%. I do not qualify for any subsidies or tax credits. This will greatly affect my family and I am uncertain as to how this is considered a fair policy. I am giving this information because I truly do not believe anyone in Washington understands the actual costs to average citizens and the negative impact this legislation will have on our economy as a whole."
"I received my "Obamacare" letter in the mail yesterday from Blue Cross Blue Shield. My monthly premium went from a little over $700 to nearly $1,600. Quite frankly, I most likely will join the ranks of uninsured Americans."
"I am a self-employed mother of 3 including one foster daughter we hope to adopt. My husband is also self-employed. Therefore, we have paid for our own health insurance policies for the past 7 years. I received a letter from BCBSNC this week stating that, due to the ACA, our premium would increase almost $200.00 per month while our benefits would decrease. Our deductible will go from $5,000 to $10,000. I am beyond concerned about what this change will do to my family and our ability to continue to pay for our healthcare. I understand this act was passed to provide insurance to those who could not previously afford it and in 2014 my family will join that plight... I find it outrageous that as a tax-paying American citizen, I do not have the right to choose whether or not I have health insurance."
These stories are the reason I'm fighting so hard to ensure fairness under Obamacare. The President has granted 112 exemptions and delays for big business and others, but refuses to acknowledge how the law is hurting hardworking Americans. We were promised lower costs and more competition, yet Obamacare is doing the exact opposite. Insurance rates are expected to triple for women and quadruple for men. The point of an online marketplace was to provide options, so North Carolinians could go online, compare prices, and choose plans from different companies. That's how competition is supposed to work. Although seven insurance companies currently operate in North Carolina, in the new Obamacare exchanges, those options will dwindle down to one in the majority of counties.
I cannot stand idly by and watch this happen. Obamacare is a runaway entitlement program that endangers the commitments this country has already made to our retirees, veterans, and the most at risk in our society. I want every American to have access to the highest quality health care available, and I want every American to have choices about what kind of coverage they want for themselves and their families. You deserve better than a 1950's-style, one-size-fits-all, government-run health care system that tells you what kind of care you can have and what procedures you aren't allowed to have. We can do better and I will continue to fight for quality health care for all Americans at a price you can afford.
Until next week,
Member of Congress (NC-08)