Rep. Ann Wagner: Obama Must Explain Healthcare Cost Hike for 11 Million

Saturday, 01 Mar 2014 08:48 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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President Barack Obama needs to address a new administration report that shows 11 million people will pay higher premiums because of Obamacare, Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner says in this week's GOP address.

"Mr. President, you owe our 11 million workers an explanation," the Missouri Republican said Saturday. "It seems like every week there is another broken promise from this administration about Obamacare."

The report from the nonpartisan Office of the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shows that two-thirds of Americans who work at small businesses will see their premiums increase under Obamacare — meaning higher premiums for 11 million workers.

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.

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"Growing up working in my parents’ carpet store, my daddy used to tell me that your word is your bond. That when your bond is broken, your trust is broken," said Wagner. "Unfortunately, President Obama has broken that bond with the American people, and they no longer can trust his word.

She noted when Obama was running for president, he promised a healthcare law that would "cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year."

But Obamacare has turned out to be not so affordable said Wagner.

"These aren’t just any workers that we’re talking about," said Wagner. "They are small business workers, some of the hardest-working people in our country. The very engine of our economy."

Obamacare means not only another broken promise, but another "slap in the face to our already hurting middle class," said Wagner.

The Obama administration did not want the report made public, said Wagner.

"It only exists because Republicans demanded it in early 2011, as part of a spending cut agreement," she said. "Even then, the report was submitted nearly three years late, quietly last Friday evening, with no public announcement."

That it took so long shows that the Obama administration is not the 'most transparent' in history, and that "Democrats in Washington are willing to say and do whatever it takes to protect their health care law."

Wagner also criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's claim that "horror stories" about Obamacare are "untrue."

"Try telling that to my constituents who are struggling to make it to the 15th and the 30th of every month in this tough economy," said Wagner.

She gave the example of Missouri business owner Jennifer Labit, the founder and owner of Cotton Babies, which makes cloth diapers for consumers.

"Her premiums were projected to double – putting her family’s business and livelihood in jeopardy," said Wagner.

Labit wrote a letter to Wagner, saying that she believes in affordable health care, and her company provides great health insurance for its staff.

"We pay for 70% of the premium for the staff members AND their entire family," Labit told Wagner. "We operate on microscopic margins and have valued taking care of our employees over taking a profit. I simply don't know how we, as small business owners, are going to be able to shoulder the load with these changes."

"Senator Reid, Jenn's story and countless others are in fact true," said Wagner. "And, Mr. President, you owe our 11 million workers an explanation."

She challenged Obama to look workers in the eye and say he stands by his law.

"Are you willing to confess that ObamaCare is causing premiums to skyrocket while the quality of our health care is going down?" Wagner challenged the president. "And are you willing to work with us to provide real health care solutions that will lift up the American people? Mr. President, we are ready."

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.

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