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Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, my State of Mississippi will have the third highest premiums in the Nation as a result of the so-called Affordable Care Act. This is unacceptable for my State, and my colleagues can be sure I am hearing from my constituents about this.
For example, I heard from a married couple in Long Beach who own a small business. The private insurance plan they have offered to their employees for over 20 years will suffer a 33-percent premium increase on December 1. Their insurance specifically cited the ACA's mandated coverage, fees, and taxes for the increased premiums. The couple will continue to insure their employees because if they were to discontinue the coverage, their employees and families would suffer because they would not be able to afford individual plans.
I also heard from a 58-year-old graphic designer from Madison, MS, stating that his insurance premiums will double at the beginning of the year from $355 to $755. This gentleman is understandably angry about this premium increase. He understands that his insurance will now cover mandated benefits such as maternity care and birth control--something he will never use as a 58-year-old male.
I also heard from a 51-year-old disabled retired doctor and the father of two high school students. Earlier this week, he was informed by his insurance provider that his family's premiums will skyrocket in January. He says he discovered that the least expensive coverage for his family will result in a 112-percent increase in his premiums.
After hours on healthcare.gov trying to enroll his family, a firefighter, a father, and a husband discovered that the cheapest plan, a bronze plan, will be too exorbitant a cost for him to pay. He will opt to pay the penalty, and he and his family will remain uninsured.
These are real Americans who are learning that the Affordable Care Act is less affordable and less accessible.
I yield the floor.
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