This is an excerpt from remarks U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made Monday on the Senate floor:
Kentucky was once held up as an Obamacare success story. But Obamacare made a mess of health care markets in my home state, just like it has made a mess of markets across the nation.
Too many families in Kentucky who liked their insurance plans or their doctors soon found they weren’t able to keep them. When families are kicked off their plan, they must find a new insurer, often at a higher price. When families must change doctors, they often lose a bond of trust they developed with a physician who’s familiar with their medical history. And when insurers flee the exchanges, it leaves families with fewer options for their health care. In fact, Kentuckians in nearly half of our counties now have only one option on the Obamacare exchanges — and, as we all know, one option isn’t really an option at all.
A woman from Lexington contacted my office about her difficulty finding a plan on the exchanges. “I live in one of the three largest cities in our state, and I had two options for insurance this year,” she wrote. The limited networks on both of those two plans, “[eliminated] a huge number of providers in Fayette County.” In addition to the limited access to care, on these plans she said, “The lowest deductible option was $10,000.” For this Kentuckian, and for so many others, Obamacare has failed. We must do better — better for Kentuckians, and better for families across the country. That’s why we have to act.
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Under Obamacare, health care costs are skyrocketing in Kentucky, just as they’re skyrocketing across the country — we want to improve affordability. Too many Kentuckians have learned firsthand that the so-called Affordable Care Act has really been anything but affordable. Premiums and deductibles continue to climb higher as Obamacare takes a larger bite out of Kentuckians’ budgets. A recent Health and Human Services report showed that Obamacare premiums in Kentucky have spiked by an average of 75 percent since 2013, when the law was fully implemented.
Now, this year alone, Obamacare premiums shot up by as much as 47 percent. After years of being frustrated by Obamacare, a small business owner from Lancaster said she, quote, “decided it was utter nonsense to buy insurance that covered nothing.” Although she pays a large sum every month, her plan, “covers no office visits, no prescription coverage, [and] has a $6,000 deductible.”
The rising costs of Obamacare add a burden that many in my state just cannot bear. I have received heartbreaking letters from Kentuckians, like one family faced with this dilemma: pay for health insurance, or put food on the table. As Obamacare collapses, these families are stuck dealing with the consequences. Increasing costs have become the status quo under Obamacare, and it’s completely unsustainable — unsustainable for Kentuckians, and unsustainable for families across the country. That’s why we have to act.