A lot has been said and written in recent weeks about the president’s 2009 speech to the American Medical Association in which he pledged that: “We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
It’s a pledge the president repeatedly made when the bill became law in early 2010 and has been his calling card until recently when it became clear the promise to the American people was an empty one. Even as recently as Sept. 26, 2013, he said: “The first thing you need to know is this: If you already have health care, you don’t have to do anything.” Despite all the chatter about this broken promise, folks like you are demanding action and I am pleased to say that lawmakers, from both sides of the political aisle and in both chambers of Congress, are starting to finally get it. The House and Senate both have bills that would allow Americans to keep their health insurance policies in the face of Obamacare, no matter what.
The president, under pressure from the American public and a growing number of his own supporters, sought to re-cast his comments about keeping your health insurance on Nov. 4, 2013 when he claimed: “If you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it – if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” Again feeling the pressure, the president on Nov. 14 announced that he would pursue an administrative fix to allow Americans whose policies were cancelled under Obamacare to keep their current policy. First, the president does not have the authority to unilaterally change a law, but Americans also deserve more than another promise from the president about fixes. What Americans deserve is for their elected representatives to take action on the issue.
That is why, on Nov. 15, my House colleagues and I passed a bill called the Keep Your Health Plan Act that allows health plans currently available on the individual market to continue next year, providing Americans the opportunity to continue to enroll in the plans that they currently enjoy. The House passed this legislation first but the Senate is also poised to consider its version of the bill. What is remarkable about the Senate position is that Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas are cosponsoring the Senate proposal known as the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act.
The health-care website continues to malfunction, plans offered on the exchanges are unaffordable and have limited networks of doctors and hospitals, millions of Americans are still losing the insurance coverage they were promised they could keep despite the new promise, and premiums for working families are skyrocketing. While I have heard many of your personal stories, I would like to hear about more so please email ObamacareStory.MO3@mail.house.gov to share your story with me.
It has become increasingly clear that my belief that Obamacare would collapse under its own weight is coming to fruition and the best way to protect Americans is to pass the legislation allowing people to keep their health insurance just like the president had first promised and has now agreed to. I am hopeful that when all is said and done and the House and Senate have done their jobs, the president will give the American public what it wants and start following the appropriate process of creating a law. Mr. President, you are not Congress and you do not make laws, so do the right thing and sign our bill into law.
CONTACT US: I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns.