The problems with Obamacare run much more deeply than the glitches on its expensive, faulty website
— and fixing the site's technological problems won't heal the wounds being caused by the health insurance law, says Indiana Sen. Dan Coats.
"The failure of [the] Obamacare launch is just the tip of the iceberg," said Coats, giving Saturday's GOP weekly address. "Unless we act, Americans will be stuck on board this Titanic."
Obamacare launched one month ago, on Oct. 1, and many Americans still can't go online and sign up, despite promises by the White House and congressional Democrats that the insurance exchanges would be ready to go.
"The president even told the American public that signing up online would be as easy as a few simple keystrokes," said Coats. “Perhaps the President hasn’t tried logging onto the website himself because he and his political appointees are not required to join Obamacare."
But the rest of the country doesn't have that choice, and the few that have been able to access the online exchanges are "experiencing sticker shock," Coats said.
He does agree with the president that Obamacare is more than a website.
"It is more than just a website and the problems run far deeper than a few technological glitches," said Coats.
Families are being hit with large premium increases and deductibles, individuals aren't able to keep their doctors, and more people are losing their insurance than are able to enroll in new plans.
"The administration knew this would happen," said Coats. "This week, the public learned that for at least the past three years, the Obama administration has known
that millions of Americans will not be able to keep their health care plans."
But Obama is continuing to promise that people who like their health care plans will be able to keep them.
"Well, tell that to over 300,000 people in Florida who have received cancellation notices or the nearly one million Californians that may see their health care insurance plans disappear," said Coats. Tell that to the tens of thousands of Hoosiers in my state that will see similar notices arriving in their mailboxes. This is about more than just a website and it will take more than a 1-800 Rose Garden infomercial from the President to fix this."
But despite the problems, Obama and Senate Democrats have decided to stick with Obamacare and fine people if they don't sign up.
Coats introduced a bill in September to delay the mandates for a year. He said his bill is about fairness, because businesses have already had their mandates delayed, but not individuals.
"However, the White House refuses to delay the individual mandate," said Coats. "As a result, families will need to demonstrate that they have Washington-approved insurance or face tax penalties. This simply isn’t fair."
He also said that if the mandates are delayed until 2015, Americans will be able to voice their opinions about the health care law.
“Until recently, many had not felt the impact Obamacare would have on their everyday lives," said Coats. "But as premiums increase, paychecks fall and individuals face tax penalties in the coming months, people are rightfully outraged and they want their voices heard."
He noted that the House has already passed legislation, introduced by Indiana Republican Rep. Todd Young, to delay the mandates, and 22 House Democrats supported the law.
"Several Senate Democrats have recently come out in support of delaying parts of the President’s health care bill as well," said Coats. "So there is bipartisan agreement that this law is not working. Fixing a website won’t fix the damage that’s already been done and the pain we’ll continue to see."
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