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Public Statements

Obamacare

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I recently received a disturbing note from a constituent in Burlington, KY. Unfortunately, I suspect a lot of my colleagues have been receiving notes just like it.

This gentleman said that after receiving several letters from his insurer, it became clear to him that the President was being misleading when he said if you like the plan you have--if you like the plan you have--you can keep it. That is because he found out his policy, which came into effect just 2 months after the law's arbitrary cutoff date for grandfather plans, will be discontinued next year.

He is not happy about this at all, especially given the fact that a plan on the ObamaCare exchanges will dramatically drive up his insurance costs, from $400 a month to more than $700 a month, with zero subsidies available.

Here is what he had to say:

My wife and I are 54. We don't need maternity care and we don't need ObamaCare.

He is right to be upset. This is simply not in keeping with the spirit of the President's oft repeated promise.

Perhaps the administration would like to tell him he should have just done a better job of keeping up with its regulatory dictates. But what about the millions who purchased their plans relying on the President's promise that they could keep them? What about the husbands and wives across Kentucky who suffered when two of our largest employers had to drop spousal coverage? What about the folks who lost coverage at work? What about all the smaller paychecks and lost jobs? What about the part-timeization of our economy?

This law is a mess. It is a mess. As Secretary Sebelius said herself yesterday: ``The system is not functioning.''

Maybe she was referring to no more than the narrow problems with healthcare.gov. But as the President keeps reminding us over and over, ObamaCare is about more than just a Web site. He is right about that. That is why, if the system is not functioning, it is just another sign that ObamaCare itself is simply not working. The President and his Washington Democratic allies understand this. That is why the White House is so eager to enroll everybody--other than themselves--into the exchanges. It is why they handed out a yearlong delay to businesses, and that is why the Washington Democrats' Big Labor allies are looking for their own special carve-outs.

What about everybody else? What about the middle class? Where is their carve-out? So far, Washington Democrats have resisted every attempt to exempt the struggling constituents whom we all represent.

The folks who rammed this partisan bill through know it is not ready for prime time, and they seem to want no part of it themselves. But for you out there, the middle class, it seems to be tough luck--tough luck.

We have even seen some of the same folks try to stamp out innovations that would help folks get out from under some of ObamaCare's more crushing burdens. That is why they have launched a crusade against small businesses that dare to experiment with self-insurance and other pioneering ideas. Maybe the administration does not like self-insurance because it represents a free market alternative to ObamaCare. But the fact is nearly 100 million Americans are already availing themselves of it. I am sure most of them like the greater flexibility and affordability it provides.

So it is time these folks spent their energy working with us to look after the middle class and to bring about the kind of reforms that will actually lower costs and that our constituents want, because they should not have to wake up to news such as this: ``Florida Blue is dropping 300,000 customers.''

``Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans opened the mail last week to find their health insurance plan would no longer exist in 2014''--out of existence.

``Half of the roughly 600,000 people in [my State of] Kentucky's private insurance market will have their current insurance plans discontinued.''

Mr. President, 300,000 Kentuckians will have their current insurance plans discontinued.

This is not fair. It is not what Americans were promised, and Republicans intend to keep fighting for middle-class families suffering under this law. I hope more of our Democratic colleagues will join us in this battle in the future.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


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