Mitch McConnell

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 15:43

We Can and Must Do Better Than Obamacare’s Status Quo

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate Republicans' commitment to rescuing the American people hurt by Obamacare:

'What has happened in the years since Obamacare was imposed on our country? Year after year, it drove up costs. Year after year, it drove down choice. Year after year, it continued to unravel before our very eyes. It's a trend that continues today - and one that will only get worse unless we act.

'Just last week, we got more evidence of Obamacare's failures as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released reports that identified a trend of Americans who had enrolled on the Obamacare exchanges, but then canceled their coverage. Often these Americans didn't even pay their first premium. Within just a couple months of enrolling, nearly 2 million people dropped out of Obamacare. Why did so many Americans drop their coverage? The reasons shouldn't surprise anyone. The most common explanation these Americans gave for having canceled their coverage was Obamacare's outrageous costs. These numbers underline what Republicans have been saying all along. Obamacare is collapsing around us, and the American people are desperately searching for relief. Costs continue to shoot upward and insurance providers are fleeing from marketplaces across the country, leaving precious few options.

'It's clear that Obamacare just isn't working. In fact, it's not working for millions of Americans like those living in nearly 1,400 counties - about 50% of all counties nationwide - who could have zero or just one insurance option on the exchanges next year, which isn't really an option at all. These shrinking choices and increased costs under Obamacare aren't indications of a new pattern, they're just the latest in what has been a years-long assault on far too many families by this failed health care law. And while this isn't a new trend, it is one that has grown increasingly more unsustainable and one that we must work to change soon.

'That's why we repeatedly called for a different approach to health care then. That's why we're working hard to move in a different direction on health care today. For months now, the entire Senate Republican Conference has been active and engaged on legislation to move beyond the failures of Obamacare and bring relief to the American people. We've had numerous, productive discussions on the way forward. We believe we can and must do better than Obamacare's status quo. Working together, and listening to our constituents, we are focused on the following: Stabilizing insurance markets, which are collapsing under Obamacare; Freeing Americans from Obamacare's mandates, which force them to buy insurance they don't want; Improving the affordability of health insurance, which is spiking under Obamacare; Strengthening Medicaid for those who need it most; And preserving access to care for patients with pre-existing conditions.

'Senate Republicans will continue working because it's clear that we cannot allow Americans' health care to continue on its current downward trajectory under Obamacare, taking so many families with it. The Obamacare status quo is simply unsustainable. The American people deserve relief. And we'll keep working to provide it.'