Rep. Tom Rooney: Obama Must Keep Healthcare Promise to Senior Citizens

Saturday, 15 Feb 2014 07:41 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Obamacare is wiping out options for senior citizens' healthcare, and Florida Rep. Tom Rooney is joining with fellow House Republican leaders to urge President Barack Obama to address seniors' needs before it is too late.

The Florida lawmaker, in Saturday's weekly GOP address, shared stories from seniors from his district who have lost access to the doctors and health plans they liked, even though Obama repeatedly promised that would not happen.

Rooney, who represents Florida's 17th District southeast of Tampa Bay, said that few promises are more sacred than those made to older Americans, but Obama is repeatedly breaking those promises.

When the president spoke about healthcare to Congress in the fall of 2009, he told seniors they would "get the benefits you've been promised."

New Medicare Warning: Obamacare Rule Changes Coming

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In addition, during a telephone town hall with older Americans, said Rooney, Obama claimed he wanted to respond to what he called "hysterical claims" about his plan.

"'Here's the truth,'" he [Obama] said. "'If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.'"

But while Obama made that promise several times, he broke the vow and people are losing their physicians as a result, said Rooney.

"To help pay for his healthcare law, the president made deep cuts to the successful Medicare Advantage program, which serves nearly 30 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries," Rooney said. "This includes seniors with low incomes, patients with chronic conditions, and Americans in rural areas. It’s a win-win program that gives seniors more control over their care and delivers better value for both them and the taxpayer."

But seniors are losing their doctors already, said Rooney, and constituents are telling him they can no longer see the primary care physicians they have been seeing for decades.

"One woman told me that four of her specialists have already been dropped from her plan," said Rooney. "Another shared with me the story of how her husband lost access to the cardiologist he’s been seeing since his heart surgery five years ago. In Florida’s heartland, seniors are now forced to drive an hour or more just to see a primary-care doctor, let alone a specialist."

Millions of seniors across the country are also paying more money for "fewer choices, less access, and far less peace of mind" because of Obamacare, said Rooney.

"This goes well beyond a glitch or a pocketbook issue," he said. "This is a breach of faith.
The president’s promises have proven false for working families, and now they are proving false for our seniors as well."

On Thursday, Republican leaders warned the president in a letter that his healthcare law will wipe out seniors' options, and asked him to develop a plan to address the problems Obamacare is causing older Americans.

"But better yet, members of both parties should listen closely to the stories like the ones I have shared," said Rooney. "Let's work together to repeal this law so we can focus on better solutions that lower costs for all Americans, especially our parents and grandparents."

New Medicare Warning: Obamacare Rule Changes Coming

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