As I travel the Congressional district during the time the Affordable Care Act is being rolled out, I hear a consistent concern: More people are being hurt than helped.
It’s about the Meenach family, who will be pushed into the state health care exchanges, where they could lose benefits like dental and vision and no longer be able to see the family doctor that has treated them for years.
It’s about Bette Grenier, who can’t afford the increased payments and is currently uninsured because of Obamacare.
It’s about Tim Jones, who had always been content with his coverage, but was told on Oct. 1 that his plan was no longer available — and that the cheapest one would cost 50 percent more each month.
It’s about the dentist and small-business owner in Spokane who can no longer afford coverage for his employees or his family because this health-care law has caused premiums to more than double.
These are real people and these are real stories — and we cannot ignore them. The rollout of Obamacare has been riddled with website glitches, decreased access, and broken promises. It’s not fair.
It’s not fair that hardworking people in Eastern Washington are forced to feel the pain of Obamacare while big businesses and corporations receive special exemptions.
President Obama has been granting waivers and exemptions for special interest groups under the Affordable Care Act, and in July he delayed implementation of the employer mandate.
If the President has decided to grant big businesses a delay, then it’s time to delay it for individuals and families all across this country. If the President can delay this law for special interests, he should do it for moms and dads, seniors and young people. It’s only fair for individuals and families to get a break too.
Obamacare is more than just error screens, website glitches and computer bugs. The major glitches are starting to show as people are receiving letters saying they will no longer be able to keep their plan of doctor, like the president promised. Their plans are being terminated.
It’s time to re-evaluate the efficacy of this law. Not only has the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that even after its full implementation, 30 million Americans will still be uninsured — but the CBO also found that delaying Obamacare’s weighty individual mandate tax on the American people would “reduce federal deficits by roughly $36 billion between 2014 and 2018.”
A delay makes common sense. It’s not just good policy; it’s good for taxpayers and for the economy.
There’s no question why this issue is becoming more and more bipartisan. Republicans and Democrats have joined together to stop the individual mandate just like President Obama decided to stop his big business employer mandate.
This law is not ready for prime time and it’s clear it’s not ready for hardworking Americans.
I encourage the president to make a fair decision — to be just, logical and impartial — and listen to the American people. Obamacare is more than just a broken website; it’s a broken law.
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers represents Washington state’s 5th Congressional District, which includes Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties.