Obamacare isn't working; Senate GOP proposes better care

McConnell: Obamacare isn't working; Senate GOP proposes better care

By Mitch McConnell

Cincinnati Enquirer

June 23, 2017

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/06/23/mcconnell-obamacare-isnt-working-senate-gop-proposes-better-care/422917001/

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the senior senator from Kentucky.

Seven years ago, Democrats imposed Obamacare on our country. In the years since it has failed and hurt countless families along the way. Now, with the health plan Senate Republicans unveiled, we finally have the chance to move beyond this failed law with smarter health solutions.

Democrats said Obamacare would lower costs. It didn’t. From 2013 to 2017, Obamacare premiums have on average doubled in a majority of states on the federal exchanges. Democrats said Obamacare would increase choice. It didn’t. This year, 70 percent of American counties have had little or no choice of insurer under Obamacare. Next year, at least 44 counties are projected to have no choice at all. Now Democrats tell us it would be wrong for the Senate to actually address these problems, just as the law they’ve defended for seven years teeters on the edge of total collapse. They’re wrong again.

By nearly any measure, Obamacare has failed. No amount of reality-denying is going to change the fact that more Americans – many of them right here in Kentucky – are going be worse off unless we act. I regret that Democrats made clear early on that they didn’t want to work with us in a serious or bipartisan way to address Obamacare, but Republicans believe we have a responsibility to act – and we are. We have long called for a better way forward, and the entire Republican Conference has been engaged in intensive talks on how to get there. We considered many different ideas for confronting the Obamacare status quo. In the end, we found that we share many ideas about what needs to be achieved and how we can achieve it.

This plan will free Americans from Obamacare’s mandates. By repealing the individual and employer mandates, Americans will no longer be forced to buy insurance they don’t need or can’t afford, and they won’t see their hours or take-home pay cut because of Obamacare.

This plan will improve the affordability of health insurance. By eliminating costly Obamacare taxes, we can put downward pressure on premiums. By expanding tax-free health savings accounts and deploying targeted tax credits, we can help families lower out-of-pocket costs. By shifting more power out of Washington, we can deliver flexibility to states like Kentucky to provide more Americans with the kind of affordable insurance options they actually want.

This plan will stabilize the insurance markets that are collapsing under Obamacare too. Our plans to steady the markets can deliver hope to Americans who would otherwise face limited or zero insurance options next year under Obamacare – like those in nearly half of Kentucky counties. The current system is collapsing, and this bill will transition away from it before more Americans are negatively impacted.

In addition, this plan will give states more flexibility and resources to address the opioid epidemic and the mental health crisis, which have devastated communities across the country, especially in Kentucky. By building on our efforts to combat substance abuse through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act, we can take another step towards ending the scourge of addiction.

Senate Republicans also agree on the need to strengthen Medicaid, to preserve access to care for patients with preexisting conditions, and to allow children to stay on their parents’ health insurance through the age of 26.

Our draft is available online (budget.senate.gov/BetterCare), and I encourage you to review it carefully.

In the coming days, we expect to receive a budget estimate on our plan. After that, we will proceed with a robust debate and an open amendment process on the Senate floor. I hope every Senator engages. Senate Democrats may not have wanted to work with us in a serious way to address Obamacare’s failures before, but I hope they will take this opportunity to do what’s right for the American people now. They can join with us to bring relief to millions who’ve been hurting under Obamacare, rather than simply continuing to stand by a failing law that’s unraveling and harming even more Americans.

Either way, we have to act, because American families deserve better than Obamacare’s failing status quo – they deserve more options and better care, and that’s just what we’re working to deliver.

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commented 2017-07-17 08:07:35 -0400 · Flag
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2017/Jul-16/412912-us-senate-delays-healthcare-vote-as-mccain-recovers-from-surgery.ashx

This is a lame excuse. Typically if Senator X can’t make a vote because of illness, there’s a Senator Y of the opposite party who will, out of courtesy, abstain. There’s a gentlemen’s agreement in the Senate not to call each other out on this.

The truth is that, despite having seven years to figure out what they want a healthcare system to be, the Republicans don’t have a consensus among themselves.

To quote someone cleverer than myself: they’re the only team on the field, and they’re still losing.