November 13, 2013
(Washington, D.C.) – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) shared stories he has received from Nevadans whose healthcare costs are rising, or whose plans have been cancelled under ObamaCare. Heller’s speech centers on President Obama’s promise to the American people that if they liked their health insurance plan, they could keep their health insurance plan.
Last week, Heller cosponsored the If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act (S.1617) introduced by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), which allows Americans to keep their current health insurance plan.
Excerpts from the speech below:
“We’ve all heard from the law’s supporters that ObamaCare would give uninsured Americans access to health insurance. Time and time again, they promised that people who already had a health plan they liked could keep it.
“In fact, President Obama made that exact promise on numerous occasions.
“But one of my constituents sent me a letter last week telling me that wasn’t the case. Sunny from the Las Vegas area wrote ‘I wanted to tell you that we have lost our wonderful health insurance plan.’ Sunny’s family received a letter from their insurance company telling them that their existing plan didn’t qualify under the Affordable Care Act. They were automatically reassigned to a new plan that costs about $400 more per month.
“But yet another one of my constituents, Kirk from northern Nevada, was just notified that his current health insurance has been cancelled. He went to the exchange to find a new policy and shared his story with me. He wrote, ‘…despite higher deductibles and higher co-pays, my new insurance under this devastating law will be more than 250% of what I am paying now.’
“Marc received a letter telling him that his current plan is no longer offered. The plan, the letter detailed, was cancelled in order to ‘meet the requirements of the new laws.’ Marc was given the option to keep his plan for one additional year if he accepts a rate increase, even though he just saw a rate increase in September.
“I think Steven from Washoe County would likely take issue with that promise. He told me that he now has health care that costs $293 per month. However, he just received a letter from his health care provider informing him that the cost of his health care will increase to $546 per month on January 1st. That means health insurance costs will nearly double next year. There’s nothing affordable about that. There’s nothing secure about that.
“I have a letter here from a father from Reno. He writes, ‘I’m writing you to tell you that I’m now eating crow. A few weeks back I wrote to you and expressed my support for health reform and my dissatisfaction with the government shutdown. Since then, I’ve received notification from my insurance company informing me that my current policy is being discontinued. I then began shopping for new policies for myself and family and have found that rates are two to three times of what I’m currently paying and that my max out of pocket will double, all for basically the same plan as what I have now. In essence, I’ve been put into a situation where I can either save for my kids’ college education or buy healthcare.’
“These stories don’t fit with the narrative we’ve heard for nearly five years. Now, President Obama is trying to backtrack on the dozens of times he made his promise to the American people.
“These personal stories are why I’m proud to cosponsor the ‘If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act,’ introduced by my colleague, Senator Johnson from Wisconsin. This is a simple, but necessary, bill to give Americans the ability to keep their health plans if they like them. The people of Nevada deserve better, and they deserve to have a government that keeps its promises.”