ELECTIONS

Sen. John McCain: You were fed ObamaCare lies, America. Here's what must happen now

Cheryl Casone reports

 

As the old adage goes, “If you don’t change your direction, you’re likely to end up where you’re headed.” When it comes to health care in America, Democrats’ refusal to change course on ObamaCare – even as it crumbles across the country – will lead us to more skyrocketing costs and decreased quality of care.

This week, the Obama administration confirmed that monthly premiums for benchmark plans are set to rise by an average of 25 percent in the 39 states participating in ObamaCare’s federal marketplace. About one-in-five consumers will have just one provider to choose from.

As bad as these numbers are, they don’t paint the full picture of the burdens many across the country will face come open enrollment next week.  

In my home state of Arizona, a 27-year-old shopping for benchmark plans will see their premiums rise by an average 116 percent. For Arizonans selecting other plans, the situation is just as bad, with premiums set to increase by 51 to 74.5 percent.

In my home state of Arizona, a 27-year-old shopping for benchmark plans will see their premiums rise by an average 116 percent. For Arizonans selecting other plans, the situation is just as bad, with premiums set to increase by 51 to 74.5 percent.

In Maricopa County – Arizona’s most populous county, which includes the city of Phoenix – the 126,000 citizens who have enrolled in ObamaCare will only have one health provider option. According to state regulators, that would mean more than $1,400 per month for a family of four and nearly $500 per month for a middle age man for a benchmark silver plan. Those who can’t afford these expensive plans will be forced to pay a penalty.

This is a far cry from the promise of more “choice, more competition, [and] real health care security,” that President Obama once declared.

When the president and Congressional Democrats traveled the country touting their so-called “Affordable Care Act” back in 2009, my Republican colleagues and I were quick to highlight that their proposals, however well-intentioned, would only make health care worse for American families. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to recognize that injecting unprecedented levels of government control into what amounts to nearly one-fifth of the nation’s economy would have devastating consequences.

But Democrats dismissed these warnings – demonizing opponents of the law as partisan fear-mongers. The President assured us, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period.” He said, “No one will take it away, no matter what.”

We now know those promises turned out to be lies. As is his pledge that with a few small tweaks and a new so-called public option, ObamaCare will be on a smooth path forward.

American families are demanding greater affordability and accessibility when it comes to their health care. They are calling for more choice and competition in the health insurance marketplace. And they are urging their leaders to challenge the status quo – not act as rubber stamps for unworkable policies, as my Democratic opponent in the campaign for Arizona Senate promises to do by defending ObamaCare, her “proudest vote.”

Contrary to the president’s misleading claim in Miami last week, Republicans in Congress are already working to reform this broken system and have introduced numerous pieces of legislation to replace ObamaCare.

Just in this current Congress, Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.) and I introduced the Empowering Patients First Act, which would replace ObamaCare with patient-centered policies that would actually lower costs and increase competition for consumers.

We’d do this by establishing age-adjusted tax credits, providing economic incentives to purchase coverage, and allow people to purchase insurance across state lines. All of this and more can be accomplished while ensuring no one is priced-out of the market if they have a pre-existing condition.

If we don’t change direction soon, we are likely to end up where we are headed – to even higher health care costs, less choices and decreased quality of care.

The surest way to alter the dangerous course we are on would be at the ballot box by sending Republican majorities back to Congress who are committed to repealing and replacing this failed law.

We need leaders who will fight for health care reform that works by putting patients first.

Republican John McCain represents Arizona in the United States Senate. 

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