U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell
November 15, 2013
For nearly five years, Kentuckians heard President Obama repeat one very familiar phrase: “If you like your current health care plan, you can keep it.” Kentuckians took the president at his word as he echoed this promise over and over again.
Now that Obamacare is coming into effect, we’re learning that millions of people won’t be able to keep the plan they have—despite the President’s promise. Unfortunately, it’s not hard to find examples of Kentuckians who are being told, through no fault of their own, that the health insurance plan they have relied on and want to keep is being canceled, and many are finding that Obamacare’s alternatives are more costly.
Take one constituent who reached out to me from Burlington. He found out that his policy will be discontinued next year. He’s not happy that a plan on the Obamacare exchanges will dramatically drive up his insurance costs from under $400 a month to more than $700—with zero subsidies available. “My wife and I are 54,” he wrote. “We don’t need maternity care—and we don’t need Obamacare.”
Then there’s the small-business owner who contacted me from Todd County. Having recently lost his wife to breast cancer, he knows full well the importance of having good health insurance. He received a letter from his insurance provider telling him the plan he had relied on during his wife’s illness would soon be terminated, and there would be no option to stay with the same company. The plans he found on the Obamacare exchange would raise his monthly premium by 300 percent. In conversations with other area small-business owners, he’s found that many others face similar dilemmas.
Unfortunately, stories like these are all too common in the Commonwealth. In fact, 130,000 Kentuckians with individual policies have received cancellation notices, and yet only about 4,600 individuals have signed up for private insurance through the Kentucky exchange. Another 150,000 small group policies will be canceled, including policies held by groups like the Louisville Bar Association.
Liberal Democrats and Obama supporters in Kentucky are hailing the president’s health law as something positive, and bragging that 32,000 Kentuckians signed up for coverage in the last month. But when a paltry 32,000 signups are weighed against the nearly 10 times as many Kentuckians whose insurance coverage is being canceled, it’s obvious that Obamacare has been a net loser for Kentucky. Plus, 85 percent of those who sign up are signed up on Medicaid (free health care), not private plans.
Multiply this problem across all 50 states, and it’s no wonder that the AP has reported that 3.5 million Americans will see their current health insurance plans canceled. And despite the president’s many promises to the contrary, we now know that the administration knew ahead of time that millions of Americans would lose their current policies when Obamacare went into effect.
Let’s face it—Obamacare’s failures aren’t restricted to just a website. The law is proving to be a calamity for millions of Americans who, through no fault of their own, are being forced to drop health insurance plans they like and purchase different ones with higher costs. It’s still not too late to act to stop the worst parts of this law.
That’s why, in the U.S. Senate, I have sponsored legislation to help protect thousands of Kentuckians from losing the health insurance plans they like and want to keep. If you can speak personally to the harmful effects of the new health care law, I hope you’ll contact my office at www.McConnell.senate.gov. The more we know about the damage being done to Kentuckians, the better we can put a stop to it. Because this disaster of Obamacare isn’t what Americans were promised.
I intend to keep fighting for the middle-class families who are suffering under this law. It’s time for Washington Democrats to join me and work on behalf of their constituents—instead of thinking their first priority is to protect the president and his namesake legislation.