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Obamacare: The Blame Game


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the disastrous effects of Obamacare:

"Yesterday, Secretary Sebelius came back to Capitol Hill to testify about Obamacare.

"We didn't learn much from her testimony, but some of the Q&A was revealing.

"She admitted that the number of folks who've enrolled in Obamacare is "very low.'

"When pressed on the Administration's promise that Obamacare would drive down premiums, here's what she said about premium rates on the individual market: "I didn't say they are going down.'

"When asked if convicted felons could become Obamacare navigators and acquire Americans' sensitive information, here's what she said: It's "possible.'

"These revelations are really concerning.

"Americans were counting on the President's claim that their families' premiums would go down, not up, under a new health regime.

"Americans who've lost their insurance and find themselves forced onto the exchanges -- the last thing they need is to worry about some felon stealing their identity.

"And to many Americans, the Administration still seems more interested in deflecting blame than taking responsibility for the real harm its law is causing. Yesterday's hearing did little to dispel that notion.

"By now, we've heard our friends on the Left blame just about everyone and everything for the disaster they forced on our country. Everyone and everything, of course, except themselves.

"They've tried to blame the same contractors they hired…Republicans…the Tea Party…I'm sure they've even tried to pin this on George W. Bush.

"Of course, the Administration has repeatedly tried to blame insurance companies for lost plans too.

"But here's what The Washington Post's fact-checker had to say about that: "The administration's effort to pin the blame on insurance companies is a classic case of misdirection.'

"They got Three Pinocchios for that whopper.

"Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to have deterred our friends on the other side from indulging in the blame game.

"Within just the past week, we've seen the White House lash out at the words of a cancer survivor and try to point a finger of blame at Texans.

"And a few days ago -- get this -- one of the President's close political allies attacked the very kind of folks who are now losing their health coverage under Obamacare. "Free riders,' he called them.

"You know, the folks he's talking about…these aren't people who've done anything wrong. They're not freeloaders, or free riders, or anything else. They're our neighbors. Our constituents. And they're not looking for handouts from the government.

"In fact, these are folks who went out and spent their own hard-earned money -- not taxpayer money, mind you -- to purchase the kind of health and protection that best suits their families.

"And for this, the President's allies attack them.

"Many just want the government to leave them alone.

"Many just want to be able to keep the plans they like, instead of only the plans the President likes.

"Here's what a small business owner in North Carolina said after his premiums shot up 400%. "I just wish I could have my insurance back.'

"I just read about a constituent this morning who lost his insurance and is finding that policies on the exchange will more than double his premium and increase his annual deductible. That's partly because as a 31-year old single male, he'll now be required to buy a policy with features he doesn't need, such as pediatric dental care and maternity care. "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me,' he said.

"Another constituent from Caldwell County had this to say after learning of changes to her plan: "My husband and I work hard, pay a lot in taxes and ask for little from our government. Is it asking too much for government to stay out of my health insurance?'

"No, it's not asking too much. It's simply taking the President at his word for the promise he made over, and over, and over again. The promise that so many Democrats here in Washington made to their constituents--but that we now know is false.

"I understand that the White House is in a tight spot here. They did a poor job preparing the country for this law. They wasted time making promises that simply couldn't pan out, and they chose to ignore the warnings from my party and experts across the country that these very kinds of things would happen

"Well, this is the result. And people are really getting hurt.

"Premiums are rising.

"Taxes are going up for millions in the middle class.

"Folks are losing access to the hospitals and doctors they like.

"And, at this point, more Americans have lost health coverage than have gained it. As I mentioned yesterday, more than 50 times as many Kentuckians have lost private health coverage as have signed up for private plans on the state exchange.

"That's 280,000 folks we're talking about here -- 280,000 Kentuckians who've lost their insurance.

"In Louisiana, we're talking about 80,000 folks.

"In Minnesota, it's 140,000.

"Close to half a million in Georgia.

"So it's way past time for Democrats to end this blame game. Instead, they need to start acknowledging the consequences of their law, and actually do something about the mess they created.

"If they're ready to do so, Republicans are willing to help.

"Let's work together to undo the harm of Obamacare and start over with real, bipartisan, cost-saving reforms…reforms that will actually allow Americans to keep the health plans they like.

"That's the kind of reform Americans really want. And, if Democrats are ready to work together with us, we can give them just that."

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