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Public Statements

Affordable Care Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GARDNER. Mr. Speaker, when the President began his push to pass the partisan Affordable Care Act, he did so with two primary promises: the promise that if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away. That was the plan that this Chamber voted for when they passed the so-called Affordable Care Act. That was the plan the United States Senate voted for when they passed the so-called Affordable Care Act: If you like your health care, you can keep it.

In 2011, Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary of Medicare, testified before Congress that this promise would not come true, the promise that if you liked your health care, if you liked your health insurance plan, you would get to keep it. The Chief Actuary of Medicare--he is not a Democrat or Republican appointee--said that this promise, the promise that was made when this bill passed, won't come true.

Over the past several months, my office has received countless letters, emails, tweets and Facebook comments from people around this country and around my district in Colorado who have said thanks to ObamaCare they are losing their health insurance, they are losing their family's plan. This promise for them is not coming true.

When I first got elected to Congress, I made a decision that I would reject congressional health insurance, that I would reject the Federal health care plan, because I wanted to be in the same boat as my constituents. Just a couple of weeks ago, I too received a letter in the mail from our insurance plan, our private provider, in Colorado for our family, and it said this: We notify you about the upcoming discontinuation of your plan. This letter right here that says my family's plan is being canceled.

Mr. President, where is the promise? Mr. President, if you like your health care plan you'll be able to keep it--tell that to the thousands of people in my district who are losing their health insurance, to my family, to millions of people around this country for whom this promise that you made when you sold this bill is not coming true.

The plan that my family had was an affordable plan. We shopped for it. We worked hard to find a plan that met our needs in rural Colorado. We found a plan that is now being canceled. The plan that replaces it--the plan that replaces it--now increases in cost by over 100 percent. In fact, the plan that is most similar to the one we had is now going up to $1,480 a month. It is a 100 percent increase from the plan that we had.

But the President said if you had your health insurance that you liked, you would get to keep it. The President also said the second primary promise, though, was that if you had your plan and you got to keep it, we're going to make sure that this bill, the Affordable Care Act, brings down your cost. Yet we know that that's not coming true either, as people around this country are facing higher insurance costs, higher plan costs, canceling their plans, forcing them to go to other alternatives.

In the letter that we received canceling my family's plan it said this: that I have options, I have options to purchase another individual health plan from us, purchase a plan from another carrier, or go through the health care exchange in Colorado, an exchange that was just reported in the newspaper to have significant computer glitches even though it is supposed to be up and running on October 1. But not one of these options, not a single one of these options include being able to keep the plan that my family had, despite the President's promise, the promise that if you liked your insurance you would be able to keep it.

Mr. President, where is your promise today? Will you explain to the American people that neither of those promises--the primary reasons you pushed the health care bill--are untrue. Explain that to the American people.

In recent reports we've seen from Forbes an analysis that ObamaCare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent and for women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like in 2016 to its own findings. What happened, of course, in this analysis was that premiums, according to Forbes, nationwide will be around 16 percent lower. That's what they said. But after the analysis, after the analysis by CBO, which looked at the projected rates in 2016 compared to its own findings, neither of those numbers tell you the statistic that really matters: how much rates will go up next year under ObamaCare relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect. Looking at families like mine, a 100 percent increase.

We've received stories from around the district--people who have seen their costs increase, people who have seen their insurance canceled. We received a message over Twitter that said: I lost my insurance because I can't afford the 100 percent cost increase. For the first time in 47 years I will have to depend on the government for health insurance. Another gentleman said he will be dependent on the taxpayers as well for the first time in his life.

Mr. President, explain to the American people why the promises that you made, the promises you made to the American people, are simply not true.

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