There is a real possibility, according to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), that more Americans will be left without health insurance as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a partisan law intended to do just the opposite.
Cochran recently addressed problems with the implementation of the health insurance reform law passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote.
“The ongoing problems with the law’s enrollment website conspicuously foreshadow the more significant failures that can be expected as this law is implemented,” said Cochran, who pointed to last week’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid report showing fewer than 365,000 individuals had selected insurance plans from state and federal health insurance exchanges.
“It has been estimated that more than 47 million nonelderly Americans were uninsured in 2012. This means that less than 1 percent of the uninsured population in the U.S. has selected a health insurance plan by way of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” he said. “It is likely that on January 1st of next year, more Americans will be uninsured than were uninsured at the time that the health care law was enacted. This law’s primary intent was to expand coverage, to encourage insurance, but it seems to be failing on both counts.”
Cochran also said correspondence and messages from Mississippians indicate that full implementation of the law, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare,” is affecting their health insurance options. He cited a self-employed couple from Oxford whose insurance policy was cancelled. Their new monthly premium will increase from just over $700 to almost $1,400–an increase of more than 90 percent.
“To put that in perspective, that is more than $16,000 per year that a family would have to spend on health insurance premiums alone. These types of figures are not affordable for most Americans. So there is a sticker shock associated with this misguided effort to improve our nation’s health insurance programs,” he said.
Cochran said Congress “can do better” to improve the American health care system, including reducing health care costs.
“Health insurance is just one component of our nation’s very complex health care system and we can do better,” Cochran said. “We should get together and find common ground to improve the quality of health care in this country and to reduce overall health care costs. We owe that to our constituents, our economy, and to the future of health care in this country. This is simply too important not to.”
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