Congressman Robert Hurt
Weekly Column 08.22.16
Washington policies have real and often painful effects on Fifth District Virginians, and the implementation of the President's healthcare law is a prime example of such. This misguided law has forced many hardworking Americans to accept reduced working-hours and unsustainable increases in their insurance premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. Time and again we have seen examples of the shortcomings and flaws in this legislation; just last week we saw another culmination of these hardships as Aetna, the United States' third largest health insurance company, pull out of Obamacare in 11 out of 15 states in which it operates due to unsustainable rate increases.
We have also seen this law result in cancelled policies, loss of access to current physicians and providers, and an online marketplace system that has proven to be vulnerable to data breaches. Developing the federal online marketplace cost the American taxpayer over $840 million because of poor planning and management. The implementation of the law has not only cost taxpayers billions of dollars, but it is not achieving one of the key promises the President made about the law - that it would reduce the cost of health care. As higher premiums, deductibles, and drug prices continue to drive health spending upward, he has clearly failed to deliver on that promise.
Perhaps most concerning of all is that the Administration has taken action in implementing a law that lacks constitutional or legal authority. The House Oversight Committee has uncovered information which shows senior officials within the administration expressed concern over the lack of legal authority to fund the Affordable Care Act program, but ultimately their concerns were pushed aside to further the President's political agenda. This revelation demonstrates that the administration knowingly ignored the Constitution to try to make the Affordable Care Act work. The House has sued the administration for improperly spending taxpayer dollars without legal authority, and in May of this year, a federal judge ruled that these payments are indeed unconstitutional. We will continue to fight tirelessly in the House to ensure this harmful law is repealed and fully replaced with a more responsible healthcare plan.
Unquestionably, there is no issue I hear about more from concerned Fifth District Virginians than the negative impact of the President's healthcare law on their families and businesses. As I travel throughout our district, I consistently hear about the law's devastating effects on our families, our workforce, and our struggling economy. President Obama sold his signature healthcare law to the American people on the basis of false promises, saying his signature law would lower premiums, but they are higher and will continue to rise, causing major healthcare providers to drop out of the healthcare exchange because the expenses are too high. The president told us we could keep our current health plans if we liked them and could continue seeing the doctors we know and trust, but that too proved incorrect. We have to implement real healthcare reform that actually reduces the cost of care, premiums, and deductibles and does not separate patients from their doctors. I remain committed to reforms that are patient-centered and market-oriented to deliver the healthcare system the American people deserve.
If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, 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.