When I became the Senate Majority Leader one year ago, I pledged to Kentuckians and to the American people that a new Republican Senate would work to repeal Obamacare, the most disastrous law in a generation.
So I’m proud to report that the Senate has succeeded in this important task. Under my leadership, a majority of the U.S. Senate voted to repeal Obamacare, and passed the first repeal bill out of the Senate since this law’s enactment.
For the first time, the President will be forced to make a choice: sign this bill and lift a great burden from the American people, or veto it and let the nation know he is indifferent to their pleas for relief.
The choice should be obvious. Obamacare is a direct attack on the Middle Class of our country. It’s a partisan law that puts ideology before people, and hurts many of the Americans it was supposed to help.
It promised to bring health care costs down, but instead has caused increased premiums, co-pays, deductibles and taxes for Kentuckians and Americans across the nation.
It restricted choice and access to doctors and hospitals, forced hospitals to cut essential programs and services, and even caused some hospitals to close altogether.
It promised to bring new healthcare jobs to Kentucky—but instead, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, actual healthcare jobs in the Commonwealth declined last year.
Recently we learned that the Kentucky Health Cooperative, a nonprofit health insurer created by Obamacare with taxpayer funds, has collapsed and will stop offering health plans at the end of the year. That will force more than 50,000 Kentuckians to lose the health care coverage they currently have—some for the second time in as little as three years. Nationwide, more than half of the Obamacare co-ops have failed, causing at least 700,000 people to lose their health insurance plans.
In short, Obamacare is a broken law filled with broken promises. Kentuckians still remember the biggest broken promise of all: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” otherwise known as the “Lie of the Year” in 2013 according to the fact checkers at PolitiFact.
I know the consequences of Obamacare because I hear from Kentuckians every day on how the law has affected them. One mother in Breckinridge County wrote me to say: “My family is being pushed out of the middle class by the Obamacare law…how can we pay almost $1,200 a month on health insurance?”
Another Kentuckian, a father of two in Owensboro, wrote: “Before the Affordable Care Act, we paid around $100 bi-weekly for the family plan. That has now increased to $235…What happened to being rewarded for hard work in America? What happened to the American dream?”
Many Kentuckians are asking similar questions. By repealing Obamacare, Washington can begin to provide relief to them and their families.
The bill the Senate passed will repeal the individual and employer mandates. It will save billions in spending and eliminate more than a trillion-dollar tax burden on the American people.
Most importantly, it will finally begin to end the national nightmare that is Obamacare, so that Americans can have more freedom of choice, lower costs and better care.
By repealing Obamacare, Washington can begin to make amends for the law’s many failures. It’s the least our government can do for the thousands of struggling Kentuckians whom I’ve heard from and the countless number of Americans stuck in the same boat. Washington has an obligation to repeal this law, and I hope the President signs it.
Last year, I pledged that the Senate would pass an Obamacare repeal bill. This week, the new Republican Majority followed through on that pledge. Kentuckians should be able to count on more pledges being kept in Washington. It’s the only way our nation can turn the page on Obamacare and move forward.
Mitch McConnell is a U.S. Senator representing Kentucky.