I recently gave a speech on the Senate floor to defend millions of middle class families across America who feel like they’ve been left behind. Too many of these people are decent, hardworking folks who are unemployed or underemployed.
And many have adult children stuck living at home because, despite graduating from college, they’re struggling to find work.
Now, because of ObamaCare, these same young adults – many of whom are older than 26 – will be forced to pay more taxes, or purchase costly, government-defined health insurance.
Sen. Deb Fischer sent this opinion/column to the Nebraska news media on Friday afternoon.
In spite of the administration’s best salesmanship, the law remains extremely unpopular. I have received thousands of phone calls, e-mails, and letters urging me to repeal all, or pieces, of the law.
One constituent – a retired school teacher from Beatrice – recently wrote me to share that he had just received a letter from his insurance carrier. The news was that premiums were set to spike 60-percent to $939 a month – half of his monthly pension check.
“We are dismayed and disappointed,” he wrote.
Another Nebraskan from Hartington e-mailed: “I just wanted to let you know I got my letter from Blue Cross of Nebraska. My premium went up $160 per month and my total out of pocket risk increased from $5,000 to $12,700.”
He continued, “On the positive side, my menopausal wife and I now have maternity, drug, alcohol, pediatric, dental, and vision care! President Obama promised our costs would go down and we could keep our insurance if we liked it. I liked my old plan. I want it back!”
We no longer have to rely on these testimonials to prove that ObamaCare is driving up the price of insurance premiums.
The Department of Health and Human Services released its long-awaited report on ObamaCare premium prices offered on the exchanges. The numbers for Nebraska prove that premiums will rise dramatically.
In its analysis of the data, Forbes magazine published an article noting there was a 279-percent increase when comparing the cheapest plans offered to Nebraska men.
For Nebraska women, there was a 227-percent increase when comparing the cheapest plans – more than triple the current rate.
Those numbers are absolutely staggering.
Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the report, “ObamaCare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97-99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55-62 percent.”
Despite these high rates, the plans include fewer in-network doctors and hospitals than current plans. Moreover, many of the lowest-cost plans will likely carry high deductibles. In August, the administration announced another major delay, this time to the part of the health care law limiting patients’ out-of-pocket expenses.
Rather than capping costs for individuals and families – as required by the law – the delay of this key provision guarantees ObamaCare will be anything but “affordable.”
It seems reasonable to ask: where’s the delay for the American people? Where’s the delay for middle class citizens like the retired schoolteacher from Beatrice?
Is that really an extreme position? I don’t think so.
The American people deserve better than selective delays, unfair treatment, and broken promises. For me, the fight over ObamaCare has nothing to do with politics or ideology; it’s about standing up for middle class families who aren’t asking government for a hand up – they’re just asking that government stop holding them down.
It’s about giving a voice to the millions of Americans – those middle class families feeling left behind – who would rather have the federal government focus on ways to create jobs so they can bring home a decent paycheck.
I have no intention of standing down. It’s what Nebraskans expect from me, and it’s the only way we will ever be able to turn our economy around and build a brighter future for all Americans.