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Public Statements

Obamacare

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss higher premiums and deductibles facinMs. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss higher premiums and deductibles facing Alaskans, despite President Obama's promise that he will lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. I can assure you that families in Alaska that I have heard from are experiencing just the opposite; significant, double digit increases in their premiums and they are not pleased with the President's failed promise to lower their healthcare costs.

I received a letter from a couple in Fairbanks, AK who is in the 55-plus age group and make ``decent'' but not significant incomes. They also do not qualify for Federal subsidies. They say the new cost of their insurance is ``like another mortgage payment--over $1,500 per month with an increase from $5,000 to $6,350 for each deductible.'' By my assessment, that's over $18,000 in premiums plus $6,350 for their initial out-of-pocket expenses, which totals over $24,000 before any non-routine checkups are covered. They say they would rather pay the penalty, and unfortunately, this couple is not alone in their thinking. In Alaska, a State with the second highest premiums in the Nation according to CMS' own data, many of my constituents will opt for the penalty rather than bankrupting themselves to pay for a health insurance policy. It's not surprising that the letter ends by saying, ``Not happy with the Affordable Care Act.'' I agree. And recent polls indicate that many Americans aren't happy with the Affordable Care Act.

Contrary to what we've been hearing about how higher premiums are actually making health insurance better or more affordable, that's just not the case. Mr. President, this couple wants to contribute to society. They want to be responsible citizens. But they can't when their insurance premiums costs are like another mortgage payment. This is the harsh impact the Affordable Care Act is having on everyday Alaskans who are trying to do the right thing.g Alaskans, despite President Obama's promise that he will lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. I can assure you that families in Alaska that I have heard from are experiencing just the opposite; significant, double digit increases in their premiums and they are not pleased with the President's failed promise to lower their healthcare costs.

I received a letter from a couple in Fairbanks, AK who is in the 55-plus age group and make ``decent'' but not significant incomes. They also do not qualify for Federal subsidies. They say the new cost of their insurance is ``like another mortgage payment--over $1,500 per month with an increase from $5,000 to $6,350 for each deductible.'' By my assessment, that's over $18,000 in premiums plus $6,350 for their initial out-of-pocket expenses, which totals over $24,000 before any non-routine checkups are covered. They say they would rather pay the penalty, and unfortunately, this couple is not alone in their thinking. In Alaska, a State with the second highest premiums in the Nation according to CMS' own data, many of my constituents will opt for the penalty rather than bankrupting themselves to pay for a health insurance policy. It's not surprising that the letter ends by saying, ``Not happy with the Affordable Care Act.'' I agree. And recent polls indicate that many Americans aren't happy with the Affordable Care Act.

Contrary to what we've been hearing about how higher premiums are actually making health insurance better or more affordable, that's just not the case. Mr. President, this couple wants to contribute to society. They want to be responsible citizens. But they can't when their insurance premiums costs are like another mortgage payment. This is the harsh impact the Affordable Care Act is having on everyday Alaskans who are trying to do the right thing.

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