WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 -- The office of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued the following news release:
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding cancelled insurance policies as a result of Obamacare:
"Over the past few weeks, we've seen vivid, painful confirmation of the predictions that many of us made about Obamacare.
"Most notable among them, perhaps, was that the President's oft-repeated promise 'If you like your plan, you keep it,' just couldn't be true.
"This was always what Democrats thought they had to tell the American people in order to muscle Obamacare into law. They knew it wouldn't work otherwise. They knew the truth would not sell. And that's all coming out now.
"But we're also now learning a lot of other very unsettling things about this law.
"Like the fact that a lot of things that were working well in our health care system are now being thrown out for no good reason.
"By the same people who brought you the Obamacare website.
"High-risk pools are a good example.
"About three dozen states set up these kinds of pools to insure Americans with serious medical conditions, such as those suffering from diabetes and heart disease.
"High-risk pools have often proven successful and popular among the communities they serve. They currently provide insurance to hundreds of thousands of Americans, including thousands of Kentuckians, nearly all of them with pre-existing conditions...the very people the law was supposed to help.
"These folks benefit from this coverage and many want to keep it.
"Unfortunately, that will no longer be possible under Obamacare.
"Nearly all of them will lose their coverage at the end of the year.
"Just like millions of other Americans across the country, folks who like the coverage they have in these high risk pools -- and remember, I'm talking about some of the most vulnerable people in our society -- are now discovering that they won't be able to keep it either.
"Despite what the President told us again and again and again.
"As it turns out, the folks who rammed this law through Congress think people in these high risk pools belong in Obamacare instead.
"They don't think it matters whether my constituents want to get dumped into Obamacare or not...they've made that decision for them.
"Well, a lot of folks in Kentucky don't think this is right, and they're upset.
"And not just because they're losing their plans, and all the hassle and complication that involves. For many of these folks, the plans they're being forced into have more limited hospital and doctor networks than the plans they currently have. As one state official recently put it, 'If you're in the middle of chemotherapy, the last thing you want to do is switch oncologists.'
"We seem to see these kinds of stories just about every day now.
"There's the North Carolina woman with a severe heart condition who said she didn't know if her cardiologists and her procedures will be covered under Obamacare. Here's what she said: 'It's...the uncertainty that gets to me.'
"There's the breast cancer survivor and her husband who'd been paying about $800 a month for premiums in a high-risk pool. After that policy was cancelled, they expected lower rates under Obamacare. Instead, they found their premium and deductibles could actually be going up.
"This is scary stuff. But these are the real-life consequences of Obamacare. This is no longer some theoretical policy discussion.
"And I would suggest that, as we contemplate the future of this law, our Democrat friends should start paying closer attention to stories like these.
"Because it's not enough to have a messaging strategy and to play the old Washington game of trying to weather the P.R. storm until folks move on. These stories we're hearing from our constituents are heartbreaking. This isn't some hassle to move past. It's a problem to solve. It's what we were sent here for. And it's what real health care reform should be about -- about helping folks, not hurting them.
"So we don't need to get past this news cycle, as some of the White House spinners seem to think. What we need to get past is a White House mentality that told us last week that passing a bill to codify the very promise the President made to sell the bill would 'gut' Obamacare...We need to get past a mentality that caused the President to issue a veto threat on a law that would let him keep his promise to the American people about keeping the health care plans they have and like.
"I mean, it's almost comical watching the contortions the administration is making trying to explain this fiasco away. Over the weekend we learned through a White House leak to The Washington Post that the President's new definition of success for the Obamacare website is four out of five users making it through the checkout line. Who thinks that's acceptable? I don't. And I can't think of anybody outside the White House compound who will.
"And frankly, if this is the President's way of restoring credibility on this law, by leaking out that the website won't even work for one out of five users just a few days after vowing it would soon be running like a top...well, he's got work to do. And the bar for clarity, honesty, and 'success' under Obamacare has sunk to new lows.
"Look: if you're being treated for cancer and about to be dumped into Obamacare - the last thing you want to hear is that leaving one out of five people behind is now considered an Obamacare win. We're talking about people's lives here.
"This kind of mindset...whether we're talking about a website or anything else ... it's deeply worrying.
"But then again, this has always been the problem with blind faith in massive government programs. It's the old idea that we shouldn't let the evidence get in the way of a good theory. That's the mindset the supporters of this law are stuck in right now -- just blindly adhering to the hope that this thing will work against all the evidence. It's pretty distressing. And it's going to have to change if we're going to get anywhere.
"The real question right now should be obvious: what's the Administration's plan to turn all this around?
"We know they have a press plan - but what's the policy plan?
"Does the administration have anything of substance to tell folks who are losing their plans? Does it have anything to tell folks in these high risk pools who could be losing their doctors? Does anyone over there know?
"I've said this before, and I'll say it again. These are people's lives we're talking about. So it's time for a reality check. The defenders of Obamacare have a choice: stand up for your constituents, or defend a law that's falling apart before our very eyes - a law that threatens to drag down the quality and affordability of care for millions of Americans who need it, including those most in need."
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