Darrell Issa | Serving California's 49th District

President’s Healthcare Law: Millions Face Higher Rates, Cancelled Plans

November 15, 2013

This week, we learned that only 106,185 Americans managed to navigate and select a healthcare plan as part of the new health law. Of those 106,185 enrollments, only 26,794 came through the federal marketplace which services Americans in 36 states.

These enrollment numbers pale in comparison to the Administration’s original estimate of 494,620 enrollments within the first month of HealthCare.gov’s launch. And, even more so to the 4.8 millions of Americans – and more than 1 million Californians – who have already received notices that their current health coverage will be dropped because of the Affordable Care Act.

Yesterday, President Obama apologized to the millions of Americans who have been receiving cancellation notices and announced a proposal to grant administrative relief by selectively enforcing the Administration’s own regulations. But, by trying to ignore a problem with existing law – instead of addressing it – the president’s proposal is sure to create confusion and prolong uncertainty for millions more.

CA-49 CONSTITUENTS AFFECTED

In an effort to show Washington that you, the American people, know what’s best for you and your family, I have encouraged you to share with me how you and your family have been affected by the President’s healthcare law. Your stories have made one thing clear: this law is harming a lot more Americans than it is helping.

Laurie, from Oceanside, received a letter from her provider informing her that as of December 15 her policy would no longer be offered to her and her son – forcing Laurie to enroll in government-mandated coverage that will increase her premium by 86% from $4,680 to $8,682 per year.

Brian, a resident of San Clemente, shared that, “thanks to ObamaCare, my health care insurance was cancelled.” He added, “It wasn’t a decision of the insurance company.  It was because my policy was not ‘grandfathered’ into the new law as was promised by the President of my country.  That’s a big deal.” Under Brian’s new plan, he will now be forced to pay almost $4,000 more a year – a 154% increase.

Samuel and Debi of Carlsbad wrote that, due to the cancellation of their current plan, they will face a 97% yearly increase with their new “comparable plan.” They added that, despite having no children, they will now be required to have a plan that offers maternity and pediatric dental care – raising the valid questions of “Why are we required to purchase services we will never use? And, is a 100% increase even remotely justified?”

Lynda, from Oceanside, shared with me that Kaiser is discontinuing her plan in December because it does not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act – increasing her premium by 54% or $2,258 more a year. Lynda added, “What kind of law takes away perfectly fine, affordable insurance and replaces it with poor coverage, unaffordable insurance?”

I couldn’t agree with you more, Lynda.

What you are experiencing is simply unacceptable. Southern Californians deserve much better. You, and the rest of the American people, deserve the right to choose and have access to affordable health coverage that meets the needs of you and your family. Unfortunately, the President’s healthcare law strips you of that fundamental choice.

OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE EXAMINES HEALTHCARE.GOV FAILURES

On Wednesday, I convened an Oversight hearing to hear from top HealthCare.gov officials to examine what went wrong with the site’s rollout and what the Administration is doing to address and fix the technology and security problems currently plaguing the site.

At the hearing, White House official Todd Park could not confirm whether the website would be ready by the end of November, as promised. Even more concerning, Administration technology experts could not state who was responsible for the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov.

As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, I will not stop until the Administration comes clean about what caused HealthCare.gov’s disastrous rollout, who was responsible and what can be done in the future to prevent these systematic and pervasive failures from occurring again.

HOUSE ACTS TO ALLOW AMERICANS TO KEEP HEALTH PLANS

Today, the House passed the Keep your Health Plan Act (H.R. 3350), a bipartisan bill that will allow plans that were available at the beginning of this year to continue to be offered next year without facing a penalty. Unlike the President’s current proposal, the House bill will clearly change the law so the plans Americans have and like will not be banned.

Americans everywhere are now experiencing first-hand that the President’s healthcare law is not affordable and is not in the best interest of consumers. However, unlike President Obama, I will not ignore a problem with an existing law instead of addressing it.

I will do everything in my power to address the President’s self-acknowledged “fumble” so that you may regain your fundamental right to choose your coverage and have access to affordable healthcare that meets the needs of you and your family.