The senior Republican on the Senate health committee and the chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee released the following statements in response to the Obama administration's announcement that it would allow Americans unable to replace their canceled health care plans to instead purchase "catastrophic" coverage:
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), said: "Republicans have suggested that to provide health coverage for more Americans, everyone should have the opportunity to buy affordable catastrophic insurance as part of a private-sector plan to create more competition, offer more choices, and lower costs. This is a completely different approach and would have been a better path than Obamacare. It was suggested by Republicans -- and ridiculed by the president -- at the 2010 White House health-care summit."
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, said: "It is time to eliminate the individual mandate for all Americans. We have clear proof now that the President's health care law is hurting more people than it is helping. We know that more fake "fixes' won't solve the problem -- they just continue to add to Americans' confusion, anxiety and anger about this law. And after blatantly deriding the value of catastrophic plans in 2010, it's ironic that the President is now embracing them. The White House's latest backtrack is more proof that President Obama ignored good Republican ideas and pushed through a law full of bad ideas that would never work. President Obama has changed his health care law so many times that it is now completely unrecognizable -- and fatally flawed."
Alexander and Barrasso, along with Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), on Wednesday introduced legislation that would reverse the Obama administration's recent decision to delay next year's Obamacare insurance enrollment deadline until after the 2014 election. "The Premium Disclosure Act" would also require the administration to provide premium increase and cost-sharing information to Americans prior to open enrollment so they have time to make decisions about their health care.