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Senator Roberts Introduces Bill to Sunset Obamacare Exchanges If Administration Fails to be Ready to Serve Uninsured

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) yesterday introduced legislation to fully sunset health care exchanges, included in Obamacare, if this critical provision for the uninsured fails to be ready as promised for Americans in need.

"One of the leading factors contributing to the Nation's distaste for the President's signature legislation is the uncertainty Obamacare creates for families, for job creators, and for health care providers," Senator Roberts said. "By all accounts the exchanges are not ready. According to one of the law's Democrat authors they are a "train-wreck.'

"While health care costs continue to rise, the complete failure to implement Obamacare with any measure of clarity and transparency has paralyzed job creators. Employers, both large and small, are unable to plan for the short or long term costs of providing their employees with healthcare. As a result, job creators have slowed or even stopped hiring and millions of hardworking Americans may lose the coverage the currently have and like."

The proposed legislation authored by Senator Roberts would sunset provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act related to health care exchanges and the individual mandate, if the exchanges are not ready to enroll patients by October 1, 2013. The administration declared repeatedly that the health care exchanges must be up, running and ready to enroll by October 2013 to ensure that coverage will begin by the statutory deadline of January 1, 2014; however, little evidence has been presented to confirm they will be able to meet this timeline.

Further concerns have arisen related to the ability of the administration to enroll patients in a functioning computer system. One administration official said it could be "a third-world experience."

"This is not what patients expected when the Obamacare law was passed and not what they have been promised continually since that date," Roberts said. "My legislation will ensure that patients are not overburdened and that the administration will keep their commitment to the American people, or we get back to work on a better solution.

"The administration isn't ready to implement Obamacare, and, despite several requests, they have given Congress no sign they are even close. American families and American job creators shouldn't be forced to operate under this kind of uncertainty. Let's start over, let the administration get their house in order, and we can try again with true, market based reforms that will lower costs, increase coverage, and make us a safer, healthier, more fiscally sound nation."

At introduction, Senator Roberts' legislation has been cosponsored by Senator Inhofe (R-OK), Senator Barrasso (R-WY), and Senator Cochran (R-MS).

Senator Roberts is a senior member of both the Senate Finance and Health Committees. He is Co-Chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus. He voted against Obamacare.

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