Wednesday | January 11, 2017
Senator Scott on First Votes of Obamacare Repeal Process
Washington - Early this morning, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) voted to pass the 2017 budget resolution, the first step to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Scott released the following statement immediately following the vote:
"Obamacare has completely met our expectations - that it will fail. Americans were promised they could keep their doctor, and that turned out to be false. Prices were supposed to decrease, and they didn't. Our middle class is feeling the burden of rising premiums, out-of-control deductibles, and lack of insurance options and choices. Obamacare is predicted to cost the American tax payers more than $1 trillion over the course of the next several years. Even worse, reports show that Americans are in worse health now than they were in before Obamacare was enacted into law.
This is a personal issue to me because it has negatively impacted our folks in South Carolina, and across the country. Insurance companies have fled our state's marketplace exchange, and many of our constituents are left with only one option for healthcare. That is likely why insurance premiums rose an average of 28% from 2016 to 2017. The basic tenets of economics will tell you that competition drives down cost, and as we look forward, we should return to a free market system that creates more choices for the American consumer.
Some folks were kind enough to share their personal stories with my office, so we can help shed light on the real problems facing real people because of Obamacare:
- Karen from Newberry, SC lives in a two-person household where their annual income is $30,000. When they were forced to go on the healthcare exchange for coverage, they had to pay $130/month for a Blue Cross Blue Shield policy that came with a $16,000 deductible. Their monthly payments pay for nothing, and they still have to come out of pocket for all of their medical needs. She can no longer pay for her necessary medications, and has to put money aside each month just to be able to afford their annual doctor's visits.
- Julie from Irmo, SC was diagnosed with MS in 1986. She had maintained health coverage for nearly three decades before her healthcare plan was terminated in December 2013. Her previous insurer had been discontinued because of the constraints imposed on them by Obamacare. When she found private coverage, she was denied expensive medications until she went through additional tests. By December of 2014, Julia's premiums had increased by 25%.
- Tracy from Charleston contacted my office when she was told she would have to pay 2% of their household income to the government because her husband did not have health insurance. The reason he did not have health insurance was because it was too expensive to purchase coverage for him. They made a personal decision, and wanted to save money, but instead found out when they were filling out their taxes that they would be penalized over $1800 or $155/month. The money that he saved by suffering through his discomforts all went to pay the Obama Care penalty. She actually asked us, "Is the government's plan to do away with the middle class and have only the rich and poor?"
While it is important we make sure there are safety nets in place for those who are unable to obtain coverage or those who lose coverage, we need to make sure to do it in a way that makes sense and helps to inspire a patient-centric healthcare system. The only way to start this process is to repeal and replace Obamacare. Only then can we start to pave the way to a cost-effective, decentralized and competitive plan that returns power to the states and is better equipped to cover individuals and their families."
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