For Immediate Release
February 26, 2014
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Contact: Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier (202) 224-4515

In Speech, Hatch Slams Broken Obamacare Promises for Utah Seniors

Utah Senator Says, “We all remember when the President promised that, under ObamaCare, ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.’ Because of the law’s cuts to Medicare Advantage, people are being forced to find new doctors and health care providers. And, as each day passes, fewer and fewer options are available to them.”

WASHINGTON –In a speech on the Senate floor today, Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said ObamaCare’s proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA) are a serious threat to the plans, benefits and doctors of the roughly 15 million seniors enrolled in the popular health care program. Hatch further warned of a new Obama Administration report that found 11 million small business employees will see their premiums rise under the President’s signature domestic achievement.

“We all remember when the President promised that, under ObamaCare, ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,’” said Hatch. “Yet, because of the law’s cuts to Medicare Advantage, people are being forced to find new doctors and health care providers. And, as each day passes, fewer and fewer options are available to them.”

Hatch went on to criticize the Obama Administration for attempting to hide a new report by the Office of the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that confirmed premiums will increase for two-thirds of Americans working at small businesses under ObamaCare.

“Buried in the report – which was two years late, by the way – is the confirmation that ObamaCare will raise insurance premiums for 11 million employees of small businesses,” said Hatch. “You heard that right. The Obama Administration’s own actuary found, under the President’s health law, 11 million workers will see their premiums rise. Like I said, this report was two years late. It’s no wonder why the administration sat on it for as long as they did.”

Following the enactment of the 2011 Budget Control Act, the Office of the Chief Actuary at CMS was required, by law, to report to Congress within 90 days on the impact of ObamaCare on employer-sponsored health care insurance. Two years later, on February 21, 2014, the Obama Administration quietly released the report in a late Friday data dump with no formal announcement.

“The administration refuses to step away from its talking points and acknowledge the truth – that the health law is fundamentally flawed and not working as promised,” concluded Hatch. “All of the problems we’re seeing are just confirming over and over again that the best path forward would be to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with patient-focused, common-sense reforms that will actually lower costs and expand options for the American people.”

Below is the text of Hatch’s full speech delivered on the Senate floor today:

Mr. President, I rise today to join my colleagues in speaking out about the harm Obamacare is already causing to seniors throughout the country who rely on Medicare Advantage.
I have heard from many seniors in Utah who are worried about the impact that further cuts to the Medicare Advantage program could have on their health care.

For example, James and Maureen of Spanish Fork, Utah sent me a letter describing how they have been personally affected by the hundreds of billions of dollars taken from Medicare Advantage to pay for Obamacare.

James and Maureen were informed some time ago that their current doctors and most providers in their area will no longer be covered as part of their plan’s network.

In Maureen’s words, “If further funding is taken from Advantage programs, more and more providers will stop accepting these plans. Where will we go to seek medical treatment?”

Maureen also said that, like many other seniors, she and her husband “worry about what will be next.”

These are common stories, Mr. President.

Seniors throughout Utah and throughout the country are seeing their health care options dwindle because President Obama and the Democrats in Congress raided Medicare Advantage to pay for their misguided health law.

We all remember when the President promised that, under Obamacare, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Yet, because of the law’s cuts to Medicare Advantage, people like James and Maureen are being forced to find new doctors and health care providers. And, as each day passes, fewer and fewer options are available to them.

This is yet another example of the broken promises that came part and parcel with Obamacare.
On top of the problems with Medicare Advantage, a new report issued late last week from the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had even more troubling news.

Buried in the report – which was two years late, by the way – is the confirmation that Obamacare will raise insurance premiums for 11 million employees of small businesses.

You heard that right, Mr. President. The Obama Administration’s own actuary found that, under the President’s health law, 11 million workers will see their premiums rise.

Like I said, this report was two years late. And, it’s no wonder why the administration sat on it for as long as they did.

This is just the latest in a long line of bad data we’ve seen about this misguided law. Yet, the administration refuses to step away from its talking points and acknowledge the truth – that the health law is fundamentally flawed and is not working as promised.

All of the problems we’re seeing are just confirming over and over again that the best path forward would be to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-focused, common-sense reforms that will actually lower costs and expand options for the American people.

I hope that, eventually, that is the path we take. I yield the floor.

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