While campaigning for his health care law — and in the years since its passage — President Obama repeatedly assured the American people that, “if you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”
While many of us who opposed this disastrous law questioned how the claim could be possible, we were pushed aside. It was true because the president said it was true.
Last month we learned that, as early as June 2010, the president’s own advisors warned that the claim simply was not true. According to regulations issued by the Obama administration, as many as 67 percent of the 14 million Americans who purchased their insurance on the individual market could see their plans cancelled.
The warning already is coming true. According to the Associated Press, 3.5 million Americans on the individual insurance market already have received cancellation notices. State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens estimates that could include as many as 400,000 Georgians.
While the president rightly has apologized, he and his surrogates have worked to downplay this latest Obamacare blunder. They claim the promise was true for the “majority” of people or try to belittle the millions of Americans losing their health care coverage.
Last week, the House acted to help President Obama make good on his promise.
The Keep Your Health Plan Act would allow those plans currently available on the individual market to be offered next year. It gives millions of Americans the certainty of keeping their health care and shields them from skyrocketing premiums as well as the prospect of using a broken, glitch-filled website.
In addition, it ensures those Americans able to keep their health care are not subject to face penalties under Obamacare’s individual mandate.
If President Obama is sincere in his apology, he should join the bipartisan majority in the House to advance this bill and call on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take it up in the Senate.
This, however, is more than just a broken promise or a broken website. It’s a broken law that is causing real harm to the American people and the American economy.
Not only has Obamacare missed its stated purpose of increasing access and decreasing costs, it is doing just the opposite. All across America, this disastrous law is taking away choices and causing costs to skyrocket.
Making American health care more affordable and accessible starts with repealing this misguided law. In its place, we should implement market-based reforms that bring down the cost of care without increasing the size or role of government.
Medical-liability reform would bring down costs by reducing unnecessary and costly defensive medicine. Expanding associated health plans would allow small businesses to team up and get the same buying power as large corporations.
Removing barriers to purchasing insurance across state lines would expand competition and allow more Americans to purchase affordable health care.
These are just some of the many common-sense reforms that empower patients and doctors, rather than bureaucrats, to achieve the stated goals of Obamacare.
Now that we have seen the disaster that is this health-care law, shouldn’t we be able to agree it’s time to give these solutions a second look?
Kingston serves the 1st Congressional District, which includes Liberty and Long counties. He is also running for the U.S. Senate.