Congressman Robert Hurt
Weekly Column 10.28.13
This week marked a significant series of events that made it all the more clear that the President’s health care law is not ready for primetime. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held an oversight hearing seeking to understand why the rollout of the federal insurance exchange website has gone so poorly. The website has been rendered effectively unworkable since its unveiling due to significant flaws and glitches.
The Obama Administration has reportedly spent a total of $500 million to date on the Affordable Care Act website system – a system that almost a month since its release still is unworkable. This staggering amount of money exceeds the amount that Facebook spent to develop its website or Apple spent creating the iPhone. If the website is this expensive, how many taxpayer dollars will be squandered on the other facets of the law? Unfortunately, the American people attempting to utilize the website are the ones bearing the burdens of others’ failures as the Administration again tries to pass the buck.
Members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, are dismayed by these findings and are increasingly calling for a delay in the enforcement of the individual mandate to avoid penalizing Americans for not participating in a broken system. This level of mismanagement is unacceptable, and we in the House will work to identify who is responsible for making these mistakes with taxpayer resources.
While the consequences of these technical difficulties are very troubling, of greater concern are the messages I receive each day from constituents explaining how the health care law is negatively impacting their lives. More and more Fifth District Virginians are receiving notice from their insurers that they will not be able to keep the insurance that they have and like, even though the President promised that they would when he advocated for the law’s passage. Others are facing much higher insurance premiums or having their work hours reduced due to the law’s mandates and penalties. Every day, the American people learn more about just how harmful this law will be.
The recent failed launch of the website is merely the latest in a series of missteps that have negative consequences for Americans. The President’s healthcare law is undoubtedly broken, and my goal is to minimize its effect on 5th District Virginians as much as possible.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.