Every day, Kentuckians are reading headlines that Obamacare is a failure. Supporters of Obamacare promised lower costs, but it sent them soaring. They promised families could keep their plans or doctors, but many Kentuckians have seen their options limited. Every year since this law’s passage, a growing number of people in Kentucky and throughout the nation have called for Obamacare’s repeal. A recent poll showed that 8 out of 10 Americans want Obamacare to be significantly changed or replaced.
The good news is that the incoming administration and a Republican-led Congress have heard these calls, and we are determined to fulfill our promise to repeal Obamacare. We cannot sit on our hands and hope that Obamacare will improve. These policies are affecting real people every day. Kentuckians continue to suffer from dramatic premium and deductible costs. They’re trying to responsibly budget for their families, but many cannot afford the ever increasing insurance bills. What’s worse, the law is collapsing under its own weight with no signs of recovery. The costs keep climbing higher and higher, and the people being hurt the most are often the very ones that Obamacare tried to protect.
President Obama used to hold Kentucky’s Obamacare exchange up as some kind of success story. But Kentuckians knew better, and we don’t hear him saying that anymore. Obamacare has become a mess in Kentucky, just like it has across the nation. In our state, premiums are rising by as much as 47 percent this year alone. The damage of this disastrous law injected instability into the insurance market, and now families across the state are stuck paying the price. It’s now clear that the so-called Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.
Under Obamacare, many have learned that having health insurance isn’t the same as actually having health care. Many Kentuckians have been forced into plans their doctors won’t accept with the cost of premiums and deductibles so high that they fear they can’t afford to get sick. These aren’t the results Kentuckians wanted. These aren’t the results Obamacare promised. Instead, these are some of the broken promises that Kentuckians have become all too familiar with under this law.
Because of the unsustainable costs of Obamacare, insurance companies are offering fewer plans in fewer places. Across the country, choices of plans and providers are dwindling. In Kentucky’s 120 counties, 54 have only one choice for an insurance provider in the marketplace. Having only one option is really having no option at all.
Through letters, emails, calls and meetings across the state, thousands of Kentuckians have told me about the painful effects of Obamacare. They’ve told me about the cost of their premiums doubling, or even tripling, with deductibles so high they are practically paying for all of their own care. Other Kentuckians have told me how their family doctor won’t accept their Obamacare plan, even after they were promised by the president that they could keep their doctor. Kentuckians have had enough. The time to act is now.
Under my leadership, this Republican-led Congress is following through on our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with health care that people can actually use. Currently, the Senate is working to pass a repeal resolution to bring relief to families. With the incoming administration, we have the opportunity to help the families struggling to find affordable health care by getting rid of this failed law. We’re moving quickly because Obamacare is imploding and things will only continue to get worse unless we act.
Some of the left-wing elite will try to convince you that the only two choices are to keep Obamacare, or to go back to the way things were before. But that is untrue. We want to move the people of Kentucky forward with better care, lower costs and more choices. Through this repeal resolution we are determined to provide relief to Kentucky families, and that’s a crucial first step. Next, we can work together to finally find a replacement that puts people in charge of their own care, expands choices and keeps costs low.
I hope Democrats will agree to work with us on developing a replacement system. I hope they listen to the American people who have rejected the Obamacare promises. If they do, then we can achieve real solutions and create a health care system that truly works.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the senior senator from Kentucky.