There are "common-sense, bipartisan solutions" to the nation's healthcare issues, rather than relying on Obamacare, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said in this week's GOP address.
"Obamacare was designed to cancel many plans that people had and people liked," Toomey said Saturday. "The president now admits as much."
But instead of Obamacare's provisions, "there are common-sense, bipartisan solutions to our healthcare problems that don't require Obamacare's wholesale government takeover of the system," Toomey said.
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Toomey also complained that signing up for healthcare through the HealthCare.gov site remains too difficult. As a senator, Toomey said, he and his family have been forced into enrolling into Obamacare, and said his wife, a former computer software consultant, even had trouble signing their family up.
“When Kris went onto the website, she typed in all our personal information and that of all our three children," Toomey said. “And then, when she tried to browse the various plans, the website denied her. She tried again, and it still didn’t work. When she called someone and asked for help, she was told the system just wasn’t working right now and it was best to try again later.
But the "fiasco" his wife faced is being experienced nationwide, Toomey said, and if it was a matter of a computer glitch, "maybe that would be excusable."
Toomey noted that as many as one-third of the people who have actually been able to get through the online enrollment may not be covered at all, because enrollment information isn't being transmitted to insurers.
"Can you imagine going to your doctor or to a hospital in January only to find out you’re not actually insured?" said Toomey. "The President says his team is working out the kinks in the website. Now, I hope that’s true."
The website issues are only part of the problem, said Toomey, noting President Barack Obama's statements that people could keep the health insurance they have turned out to be wrong. Millions of people are losing policies that had worked for them for years, he said, telling of a constituent of his who has multiple sclerosis and who has had to drop the insurance plan that worked for her for years.
“Yes, she can get a plan in the new health care exchange," said Toomey. "In fact, it turns out there are two options available to her. One of the options would let her keep her doctor. The other would pay for her medication. And neither plan will do both."
Toomey said Obamacare has been "a disaster for our country, and it's only going to get worse."
But he noted that there are "good reasons for hope, if we can just change direction."
Toomey said insurance can be made "more accessible, more affordable, and more responsive to individuals and families. And put patients and their doctors in charge of health care decisions, instead of politicians and government bureaucrats"
Toomey said that he also would like individuals to get the same tax benefits that employers enjoy when buying insurance, and to make it easier to carry health insurance from job to job or to buy it across state lines.
“We can help small businesses pool together to get quality coverage for their workers at lower prices," said Toomey. "We can rein in frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits that drive up medical costs for everyone."
But Obama's main problem isn't that it's a "glitch," but that it takes away freedoms.
"At the heart of the program is the idea that the government should decide your health coverage – what you require and how much you should pay," said Toomey. "Never mind what you want, what you need, and what you can afford."
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