Thune: Obamacare Is Broken


Thune: Obamacare Is Broken

“While the Obamacare exchanges unravel, health insurance costs on the exchanges are soaring. More than 6 million people are enrolled in plans facing average rate increases of 10 percent or more.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) spoke on the floor of the Senate today on the double-digit premium increases many Obamacare consumers are facing and the continued broken promises of this failed law.

Click here to watch Senator Thune’s remarks on the Senate floor.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“The president made some comments yesterday on the upcoming Supreme Court Obamacare decision. Referring to his health care law, the president said, and I quote, ‘What’s more, the thing’s working.  Part of what’s bizarre about this whole thing is we haven’t had a lot of conversations about the horrors of Obamacare because it hasn’t come to pass.’

“Let me repeat that, Mr. President. The president thinks Obamacare is working and that negative predictions about the law haven’t come to pass. To respond to that, let me just read a few headlines from the past couple of weeks.

“From CNN: ‘Obamacare sticker shock: Big rate hikes proposed for 2016’

“From the Associated Press: ‘Many health insurers go big with initial 2016 rate requests’

“From The Hill: ‘Overhead costs exploding under ObamaCare, study finds’

“From the Associated Press: ‘8 Minnesota health plans propose big premium hikes for 2016’

“From the Lexington Herald-Leader: ‘Most health insurance rates expected to rise next year in Kentucky’

“I could go on.

“The truth is, Mr. President, not only is Obamacare not working, it’s rapidly unraveling.

“A May 1 headline from the Washington Post reported, and I quote, ‘Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future.’

“Hawaii’s exchange has already failed. California’s exchange is struggling to sign up consumers. One-third of the consumers who purchased insurance on the California exchange in 2014 declined to re-enroll in 2015.

“Massachusetts’ exchange is being investigated by the federal government. Colorado’s exchange is struggling financially and has raised fees for consumers purchasing insurance plans. Rhode Island’s governor is pushing for new fees on insurance plans to help fund the $30.9 million operating cost of the Rhode Island exchange. Incidentally, that’s $30.9 million to run an exchange that serves just 30,000 people.

“The Minnesota exchange was supposed to cover more than 150,000 individuals in its small-business marketplace by 2016. So far, it is covering 1,405 individuals, or approximately 1 percent of the number it’s intended to cover. The Minnesota exchange has cost federal taxpayers $189 million so far — $189 million, for an exchange that provides coverage for just 61,000 people.

“A recent Forbes piece notes that Vermont’s exchange, and I quote, ‘will need $51 million a year to provide insurance to fewer than 32,000 enrollees – or $1,613 per enrollee in overhead.  Before Obamacare, $1,600 would have been enough to pay the entire annual premium for some individual insurance plans.’ 

“Mr. President, while the Obamacare exchanges unravel, health insurance costs on the exchanges are soaring. Insurers have requested double-digit premium increases on 676 individual and small group plans for 2016.

“More than 6 million people are enrolled in plans facing average rate increases of 10 percent or more. Around the country, rate increases of 20, 30, 40, and 50 percent are common. One health care plan in Arizona is seeking a rate increase of 78.9 percent.

“So much for the president’s promise that his health care plan ‘would bring down the cost of health care for millions.’

“In my home state of South Dakota, proposed rate increases range up to 44.4 percent. That’s not something South Dakota families can afford.

“Mr. President, the discussion about Obamacare’s success or failure is no longer theoretical. The evidence is in, and it shows that the president’s health care law is broken. It’s time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real health care reforms that will actually drive down costs. Five years under Obamacare is long enough for American families.”


29 thoughts on “Thune: Obamacare Is Broken”

    1. Obama’s Iraq “plan” is broken–what’s your plan?

      Obama’s Syria “plan” is broken–what’s your plan?

      Obama’s presidency is broken–what’s your plan?

      Since when do failed programs need an alternative other than doing away with the failed plan?

  1. His plan will be to send out another incorrect tweet like the one he sent the other day. That’ll fix it!

    1. thune’s tweet was perfectly correct in terms of how and why the subsidy changes came about, and why the original a-c-a supporters were suing to make sure the law would punish who it was supposed to punish. what is laughable and insulting is the huge push from the hard left to build this lie of ridicule they’ve set up. and it’s sad because the a-c-a supporters have all proven to be such outrageous liars.

      here’s what’s funny: a-c-a was largely supported by the public who expected the savings, and the coverage they were told about, even in spite of what a lie it is because the air of validity was in place. keep telling the big lie and it becomes the truth, that’s what goebbels said. the public support numbers are finally falling hard, and it’s directly because of the democrats’ own a-c-a strategist gleefully admitting in public that everyone was lying through their teeth to the ‘stupid’ public-at-large to get it all approved.

      it’s all over and finally republican ideas and alternatives are going to come forward in spite of all the shouts that there are no republican ideas. it’s about time.

        1. Supported by sheep such as yourself. It wasn’t supported by those who love freedom and demand personal responsibility.

  2. The democrats own this mess. The democrats wrote it, voted for it, enacted it. It’s their mess to clean up.
    For democrats to create a mess and then ask republicans “what’s your plan to clean up our mess?” Just shows how incredibly stupid democrats all are.
    If you are a democrat, this is YOUR mess. Clean it up yourself!

    1. Thank you for your appreciation, Ms. Beal. We DO own it and we’re proud as new Grandparents about it. But one good thing for you chronically contrary conservatives, it’s now a bit cheaper to have the stick removed from your collective backsides. lol OBAMACARE IS WORKING and SO IS AMERICA.

      1. What variety of hash-hish do you smoke, Porter? Its always the disingenuous big lie with you people. Keep repeating it long enough and sooner or later some clowns will think its true. This has always worked for tyrants and their brain-dead supporters.

    2. I’ve got some toilet paper if you’re looking to clean up your sh**. I mean mess. Whatever.

  3. Sen. Thune,
    Obamacare has virtually ended medical bankruptcy. It’s ended the runaway premium increases of the past which were typically 25% – 45% annually for decades (with no justification other than the CEO’s of health insurance corporations were making annual bonuses of hundreds of millions). 10% is a very modest increase. No longer is being a woman a “pre-existing condition” resulting in unfair premium distortion. And above all, no longer are “free riders” allowed to milk the system causing everyone to pay more. Sen. Thune, you sight a 10% increase as proof of failure and you want us to believe you and your “predictions”? Tell us, sir ~ “When are all the Doctors going to quit? Where’s that “death panel”? AND (your biggest whopper) “When is the economy going to fail because of Obamacare?” hmmmm? Here’s a few more to chew on with your crow.

    1. I wish my premiums would have only gone up 10%. They used to before the ACA. Now I am looking at a huge increase EVERY YEAR and the cost to my employees has eaten up their annual raise. That’s not working to well for anyone in my office.

      1. It’s difficult to respond to a post with such limited information. Do you have a policy in Sodak with Wellmark, which doesn’t offer ACA policies? You’re the only business owner (I’ve owned four over my lifetime, before retirement) who CLAIMS their health insurance didn’t go up drastically before Obamacare. In short, I don’t believe you’re telling the whole story. Tell me your name and the name of your company and the research and statements will be accurate after that.

        1. I am not going to provide my company information to you other than to say we are a small non-profit in South Dakota with four employees. During my nearly 10 years here, I have shopped around for health care providers several times. Here is a track record to help you understand my CLAIMS:

          2009 – Health insurance went up 4 %. At that time, we offered a HSA and our company paid 100% of our employee premiums
          2010 – Health insurance went down 5% after we changed plans and reduced our HSA. The company still paid 100% of our employee premiums
          2011 – Health insurance went down 13% after a few employees opted for a different plan within our system and several employees opted not to take the high deductible health insurance plan which also offered a HSA. The company still paid 100% of our employee premiums
          2012 – Health insurance increased 7%. We dropped the HSA plan. The company still paid 100% of employee premiums
          2013 – Health insurance increased 4%. They company reduced the amount of employee premiums paid to 70% and employees chipped in 30%.
          2014 – Health insurance increased 18% (thankfully our insurance company allowed us to change our plan so we could renew prior to Jan 1. Otherwise our plan would have increased 24% because of our new rating under ACA – we were deemed a “healthy” group). Employer pays 70% and employees pay 30% of their premium.
          2015 – Health insurance increased 16%. Company pays 70% and employees pay 30% of their premium.

          So that is the WHOLE story which you may or may not believe. We have considered getting out of the health insurance business all together and forcing our employees to either go on the exchange or get on a spouse’s plan. However, we currently consider providing health insurance (even though it is only 70% of the premium) as a benefit to our employees.

          We will continue to evaluate our health insurance plan as we do every year. You may have talked with others who have seen a benefit under ACA. Please consider yourself fortunate to now have had an opportunity to hear a real story from someone with a different view.

          And please remember, just because you might not agree with it, that doesn’t make it false.

          1. thanks. but that was a whole lot of work to do for someone who was just out to waste your time and could care less about the facts. forthrightness is its own reward.

    2. Medical bankruptcies is the measure of Obamacare success?

      I’ll let you have the last word [BS}.

  4. thanks for your supporting materials from wapo and msnbc. i’m sure they’re ironclad.

        1. Pat, where is the like button? Referring to rawstory is just one small step ahead of referring to ISIS or a skinhead publication. And just barely since ISIS and skinheads at least admit who they are and their agenda of hate and violence against with whom they disagree.

          1. when did calling a supposed sure-thing “ironclad” fall out of usage amongst us fogeys? in that sense, i was thanking porter for giving us links to reports that were utterly solid, beyond question and filled with empirical data. of course i was being sarcastic. i guess i’ll be sarcastic with one-syllable words from now on.

            1. btw – from a purely objective judging standard, fox news is pretty far into the tank for republicans on most of their shows. they do us no favors by being the evil opposite of msnbc. they should instead spend their time doing objective and dependable news coverage regardless of ‘left’ or ‘right.’ that’s what the nation needs. a little late now i guess.

    1. the subsidies under a-c-a were only to go to states with state-run exchanges set up with onerous requirements and future unfunded mandates. south dakota and many others rejected social re-engineering. thus under the original law they would get no subsidies whatsover.

      states defaulting to federal exchanges were supposed to undergo huge rate increases to punish them for not going with the coercion to open state-run exchanges to leverage the burden away from the federal government and onto them. states who played ball would get the subsidies.

      lawmakers in washington expanded the subsidies to include the states with federal-exchanges, who had not been forced to take on unfunded federal mandates and onerous regulation, because of the political blowback of being seen to allow this kind of voter-punishment to happen. the desire to expand the subsidies was there for members of both parties.

      the people suing over subsidies, want to end them for the fed-exchange states and keep them for the state-exchange states, as a-c-a was originally written, in order for the shirking fed-exchange states to “take their medicine” and get spanked for not gladly screwing themselves and accepting the unfunded mandates and burden of a-c-a. thune wants the subsidy EXPANSION not original to a-c-a to stay in place, and it is because a-c-a is flawed and broken. THUNE IS CORRECT. attempts to call him a hypocrite are twisty lies. i don’t expect the hard left to stop lying about this, they should just know that we know.

  5. Stabenow was on a rant today about how the SCOTUS is going to “raise taxes on 6.4 million Americans” and it’s all the Republicans’ fault.

    Yep, that’s right, the judicial branch of government is going to raise taxes.

    Because the SCOTUS decreed that health insurance premiums are taxes, and the ACA, as written, passed, and signed by Democrats, restricts the subsidies to the state-run exchanges, it is the Republicans’ fault that the SCOTUS will now decide that the ACA says what it says, and it’s all the Republicans’ fault.

    Never mind how this person was ever elected to the U.S. senate, please tell me, if health insurance premiums are really taxes, why do we have to pay taxes on them?

    1. it’s inevitable that the non-exchange states will lose the subsidies, and rates will jack upward. the whole bizarre shouting match from Democrats is to ASSIGN THE BLAME AWAY FROM THEM. when the people of these states are mad about their insurance, they’re going to hear from everyone that “republicans messing with the law have screwed you.” it’s a lie. most of the states that rejected the onerous state exchange mandates know full well they’d be left holding the bag on the obligations, and most can’t take them on under the way a-c-a has stacked them. democrats ONLY goal now is to make sure republicans are blamed when the rates go up in the non-exchange states. republicans MUST explain things clearly, state lawmakers who voted to reject the mandates MUST explain things clearly, and public anger MUST NOT shred republicans, it MUST be directed at major a-c-a REFORM. republicans get ready to fight the good fight on this, you have to outlast what is coming.

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