Nov 20 2014
“Premiums are going up, out of pocket costs are going up, hospitals are closing, doctors are having to turn away patients – all because of the President’s health care law.”
Sep 16 2014
“I hear it from school district workers, from folks who have had their hours cut, who are having to get by with less pay because if they have their hours cut, their take-home pay goes down.”
Sep 09 2014
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso's speech.
“I know many Senators were back home over the last number of weeks talking to and listening to their constituents about issues on their minds. I was also at home.
“As a doctor and as a Senator, I heard from many people in my home State of Wyoming who have a lot of concerns about the health care law and the devastating side effects the law has on them.
“Over the past few weeks there have been headlines just about every day all across the country with bad news about the health care law and its impact on the American people. Just this morning the local newspaper, The Hill, has a headline: ‘Support for ObamaCare continues to fall.’
“Public approval of ObamaCare continued to sink this summer, issuing the latest warning for vulnerable Democrats who will face voters this fall after backing the law.
“It says that just 35 percent of voters now support the health care law. This is a monthly poll done by the Kaiser Health Foundation which was released yesterday.
“It says: Healthcare remains one of the most important issues in midterm elections, ranking only behind the economy and jobs as voters' top issue.
“I talk about health care repeatedly because I am a physician. I have taken care of patients for 25 years in my home State of Wyoming, and I have taken care of families from all around the State. They come to me with their concerns about the health care law.
“President Obama says the Democrats who voted for the law should, as he said, ‘forcefully defend and be proud of the law.’ Is the President proud of the ways families across America are suffering because of his health care law and the dangerous side effects people continue to face?
“Here is a headline from last Friday, September 5, front page of the Wall Street Journal. It says: ‘Hacker Breaches Part of Federal Health Site.’ A computer hacker breached the Federal health site. The article says the hacker broke into part of the healthcare.gov Web site in July--in July--and uploaded malicious software, according to Federal officials.
“The administration now admits it. It goes on to say that ‘the break-in raised concerns among Federal officials because of how easily the intruder gained access and how much damage could have occurred.’ This is a concern Republicans have warned about for a long time.
“The Obama Administration didn't do the basic things any business in America would have done to protect people and their personal information. According to this report, part of the problem in this case was that the website's developers never--and taxpayers have paid plenty to these developers--bothered to change a default password for the system.
“No one can believe it. Hackers didn't have to go around some complicated security system or break in through a back door. Oh, no. The Obama Administration official admitted to the Wall Street Journal there was a door left open--a door left open.
“The Obama Administration said that so far the hackers haven't stolen anybody's personal information that they know of. Apparently, they didn't know about this breach for weeks.
“The hacker walked in through an open door in July, and the Obama Administration didn't know anything about it until August 25.
“Healthcare.gov stores huge amounts of personal and private information about people, including their access information and their health care information, and people have a right to know the information is secure.
“Where are the Democrats on the floor of the Senate today ready to forcefully defend leaving the door open for these hackers?
“Here is another headline, September 2 New York Times: ‘Bracing for New Challenges in Year Two of Health Care Law.’
“We all remember how terrible the launch of the health care program was last fall. We remember right after the President sat down with Bill Clinton and he said: Oh, easier to use than Amazon, cheaper than your cell phone bill, and you can keep your doctor.
“America knows those things weren't true.
“We all remember the terrible launch last October. The new head of the exchange talked about what he expects it to be like this year, year two. They have had a full year now to get ready and fix the problems. Yet this Obama administration official just recently told the New York Times: ‘In some respects, it's going to be more complicated. Part of me thinks that this year is going to make last year look like the good old days.’
“America is not ready to go back to the Obama Web site good old days. That is what the Obama administration's person in charge of the health care exchange told the New York Times.
“Are the Democrats going to come to the floor and forcefully defend this kind of chaos and confusion with the health care enrollment for a second year in a row? It is another disgraceful side effect of the President's unworkable, unmanageable health care law.
“I will give one more example of what the American people are learning about how the health care law is harming them individually. Insurance companies have been releasing their preliminary rates for 2015, and in many places for many people, premiums are going up.
“According to the consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers, premiums are going up about 8 percent on average across the country. That is not what Democrats promised when they wrote the health care law. Democrats in Washington, here in the Senate, promised the rates would go down.
“President Obama went around the country and said people would see their health care costs go down by an average of $2,500 per family per year. Nancy Pelosi went on ‘Meet the Press’ and said rates will go down for everyone. That hasn't happened.
“Premiums have gone up. Copays are up. Deductibles have gone up. Out-of-pocket costs have gone up for millions of Americans.
“As chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, one of the things I do is look around the country and try to find out how the policies that come out of Washington affect people all across the country. I have traveled over the past month and heard from many people that the President's health care law is hurting them individually and costing them more.
“One place people are really being hurt by the health care law is Alaska. Here is a headline from The Hill newspaper on Monday: ‘Alaska insurance rates set to spike.’ According to the article, Alaskans buying health insurance through the State's exchange can expect a surprise spike of more than 30 percent on average.
“Another place being hit is Iowa. PricewaterhouseCoopers says the average person in Iowa who buys health insurance through the exchange is going to pay 11.5 percent more next year in premiums. For others, premiums will be as high as 14 percent higher. Those Iowa families aren't getting a cut of $2,500 as promised by the Democrats who voted for this health care law and as the President said. What they are getting instead is an increase of 14 percent--more money out of their pockets.
“We can go round and round with individual stories. They are paying more. So it is no surprise then that today the headline in The Hill newspaper is that it is more unpopular now and continues to lose popularity. Then the impact. It is astonishing.
“I picked up today's Investor's Business Daily. The headline is ‘ObamaCare Spurs College Blues For Working Students.’ A lot of students have to work their way through college. Page 1, above the fold, ‘ObamaCare Goes To College.’
“This is because of the law, the way they define part-time work and full-time work, and full-time is defined as 30 hours.
“More than 200 colleges and universities have restricted work hours for students, for part-time faculty, or both, citing the costs of complying with the employer mandate related to the President's health care law.
“What I do is come to the floor to talk about the concerns I have for Americans who are concerned about their jobs, concerned about the economy, concerned about their opportunity to get the care they need from a doctor they choose at a lower cost.
“They see all of these issues as troublesome under the President's health care law. So I am going to continue to talk about this and the impact this has on the American family. I am going to talk about restoring people's freedom to buy insurance that works for them and their families because they know what is best for them, not the Obama administration. I am going to talk about reforms that get people the care they need from a doctor they choose at lower costs. I am going to talk about giving people choices, not Washington mandates.
“Republicans are going to keep offering real solutions for better health care without all of these tragic side effects.”
Jun 25 2014
Highlights Obamacare’s harmful impact on Minnesota jobs, workers and health care.
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s speech.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) previewed President Obama’s speech on the economy that he is scheduled to deliver in Minnesota on Thursday. Barrasso specifically highlights the harmful impact the President’s health care law is having on Minnesota jobs, workers and health care.
Excerpts of his remarks:
“I concur with the distinguished senator from Texas, the concerns that we have and that we share about the lives of people all across the country, their ability to earn a living. And tomorrow President Obama is planning to travel to Minnesota.
“As I come to the floor, the President is making the preparations because the President said he will spend a day in the shoes of a woman who had written him a letter about the economic challenges that she faces.
“Well I hope the President takes the time to actually talk with other people as well and spend a day in their shoes as well. Because I think there are a lot of people in Minnesota who would like to ask the President about his health care law and about some of the damaging side effects of the law.
“The Mankato Times had a story called ‘Minnesota schools to lose more than $200 million because of Obamacare.’ A state representative is quoted as saying that wasteful spending on the health care law has left many taxpayers outraged because they'll soon be making a significant impact on Minnesota schools, on the students in the state of Minnesota.
“Will the President address that? According to documents released by Minnesota's Management and Budget Office, over the next three years the total unfunded costs associated with the health care law compliance will cost school districts statewide at least $207 million. As the state representative said, this is troubling news for our schools.
“$200 million that school districts won't be able to use to hire more teachers, to improve their educational programs, an unneeded expense that he says does absolutely nothing for our students. As the state rep says in Minnesota, it is pretty sad when schools are forced to prioritize Obamacare compliance over the education of our children.
“Now the President says of the health care law, he says forcibly defend and be proud. Is that something the President is going to forcefully depend and be proud of?
“Take a look at the side effects of the health care law, so many side effects of the health care law. One of the side effects that we have been talking about is the medical device tax that Democrats included in this law. It is a destructive tax and it is hitting the people along the ground in Minnesota where the President is going to be tomorrow.
“This destructive tax impacts the livelihood of individuals. These are the people who make things like pacemakers, artificial joints, ultra sound equipment. It is a tax the President asked for, demanded, wanted as part of the health care law and that every Democrat senator in this chamber voted for, including the two Democrat senators from Minnesota where the President will be tomorrow.
“It adds up to $3 billion a year. Companies will have to make up for that lost revenue. They're going to do it through higher prices on other individuals, moving some of their construction and their distribution overseas.
“Is that what the President wanted in his health care law? Will he forcefully defend and be proud of that?
“According to a survey by an industry trade group who are the folks who actually make these medical devices, that is exactly what's happening. Device manufacturers have had to cut 14 thousand jobs because of the tax last year. They say they didn't hire another 19,000 that they planned to hire.
“That's a total of 33,000 American jobs lost because of the taxes in the President's health care law. There are more than 350 medical device firms in Minnesota, companies in Minnesota that employ people on the ground in Minnesota, citizens want to be hardworking individuals supporting more than 30,000 jobs in Minnesota since the health care law passed, the medical device industry has lost more than 1,000 of those jobs in Minnesota, where the President will be tomorrow.
“Is the President ready to stand with those individuals about the devastating side effects of his health care law?
“One of the biggest device makers in the state is called Medtronics. They just announced they are moving their headquarters to Ireland. Now, that’s not only because of the President’s health care law—not every job lost in the industry is due solely to this one tax.
“But this Obama Administration's burdensome tax policies and this terrible health care law side effects are impacting people all around the country, and specifically in this area in Minnesota.
“One of the side effects is fewer jobs for American families. The President has said that Democrats who voted for the law should forcefully defend and be proud of it. I hope someone in Minnesota will get the chance to ask the President tomorrow if he's proud of the thousands of jobs his health care law is costing the hardworking men and women who make these medical devices in this state of Minnesota.
“I hope the President will spend a day in the shoes of someone who lost their job as a medical device maker.
“You know, for a lot of people in Minnesota and around the country, they are also worried about another devastating side effect of the health care law and that's the impact on their paychecks.
“Smaller paychecks that a lot of families are getting specifically because of the health care law. Yesterday there was an article in ‘The Washington Post,’ page 2, Tuesday, June 24, ‘Businesses gear up for employer mandate.’ Sub headline: ‘Some cut workers' hours. Others struggle with costs and logistics.’
“Well, what happens if you cut hours? What happens if you're struggling with costs? Who's impacted by that? Obviously the families of the individuals who are working in those businesses.
“The article says that employers around the country have been cutting their workers' hours back to part-time status. Now, part-time in the health care law is defined as 30 hours a week.
“Most people think of a 40-hour workweek. No, not President Obama. He has a whole different view of what a full-time job is.
“But how they had to cut back to part time status in order to avoid paying for the expensive health care mandates required by the law. The article in ‘The Washington Post’ yesterday adds that seasonal employees and low wage workers, such as adjunct professors, cafeteria staffers, they have been especially hard hit.
“And it is happening in Minnesota and the President is going to be there tomorrow and he's going to say I want to walk a day with this woman and see what her life is like. He can hand select somebody who makes it look like his policies might be working.
“But there are people in Minnesota who are being harmed by the President's policies.
“In Fairbolt, Minnesota, the city has to cut hours of workers because it can't afford to pay for their insurance.
“The city of Mankato had to do the same thing cutting back most of their part-time workers to 29 hours a week to keep under the limits set by the health care law.
“In Hastings, Minnesota, the school has to limit how much their classroom aides, their food service, their transportation employees can work.
“The same thing is happening in towns and counties and businesses all over the state of Minnesota where the President will be tomorrow. They are cutting back hours, reducing the size of their paychecks. Why? Because of the health care law.
“Is the President going to spend a day in the shoes of someone who has had their hours cut back because of the health care law? Is he going to forcefully defend his law to those people when he's in Minnesota tomorrow?
“Are the two senators from Minnesota who voted for the health care law ready to forcefully defend the smaller paychecks that these people are getting?
“This isn't just happening in Minnesota. It's happening all around the country. It's not bad enough that these people are getting hit by a second time by another very expensive side effect of the health care law.
“So, smaller paychecks, now what they're seeing is higher premiums that they have to pay.
“According to a new study, people in Minnesota are paying a lot more for health insurance. Why? Because of the health care law.
“For an average 64-year-old woman in Minnesota, her premiums would have been $273 a month in 2013 before the mandates in the Obama health care law kicked in. But in 2014 buying insurance through an Obamacare exchange her premiums jumped to over $400 a month. She's paying $1,500 more this year than she did last year because of the President's health care law.
“Who's going to forcefully defend that? Who's going to come and be proud on the floor of the Senate and speak with great pride about what they have done to this woman and the effect of this health care law on her life?
“For a 27-year-old man, he would have paid an average of $95 a month in 2013. Under the Obama health care law he's now paying $140 a month, an extra $540 this year compared to last year.
“Can the senators who voted for this law be proud of these kinds of premium increases?
“The American people wanted reform that gave them access to quality, affordable care. What they're getting through President Obama, higher premiums, higher co-pays, higher deductibles.
“Republicans have offered solutions for patient centered health care, things like increasing the ability of small businesses to get together and negotiate better rates, expanding health savings accounts, allowing people to buy health insurance that works for them and their families because they know what's best for them.
“They don't need the government and President Obama to tell them that he knows better what they need in their lives than they know what they need in their lives.
“Republicans have offered ideas that would give people the care they need from a doctor they choose at a lower cost.
“The President may not want to talk about any of these things tomorrow in Minnesota and all the ways his health care law is hurting people in Minnesota and around the country. Hurting education, hurting jobs, hurting the economy and hurting the pocketbooks of the men and women around the country.
“But Republicans are going to keep coming to the floor, keep talking about the burdensome side effects, the expensive side effects and in some ways irreversible and sometimes fatal side effects as a result of this health care law and we will continue to offer real solutions for better health care without the terrible side effects that the American public continues to face as a result of the President's health care law.”
Jun 11 2014
“When the emergency rooms have more patients, it involves longer wait times for those patients."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke about how the President’s health care law is causing an increase in the number of emergency room visits across the country. Barrasso points out that in 2009, President Obama claimed that “…if everybody’s got coverage, then they’re not going to the emergency room for treatment.”
Excerpts of his remarks
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s speech.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke about how Americans are concerned by the massive amounts of taxpayer dollars that continue to be wasted during the implementation of the President’s health care law. Barrasso specifically discusses how hundreds of thousands of people are receiving larger Obamacare subsidies than they deserve and how some Obamacare call centers are paying employees to do nothing.
Excerpts of his remarks
May 14 2014
“Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay twice for the mistakes of incompetent state bureaucrats who couldn't set up a working health care exchange.”
May 07 2014
Some Americans Now Penalized Based on What Side of the Street They Live On
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke about how Americans are finding out that under the President’s health care law, they could be forced to pay much higher health premiums than their neighbors for the same kind of plan.
Excerpts of his remarks
“I come to the floor today to talk once more about the negative side effects of the President’s health care law.
“Now, President Obama has been spiking the football over the number of people who he says have actually signed up for insurance through his exchanges.
“He also said that Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the health care law.
“Now, he’s had nothing to say to the Americans who are seeing their premiums increase.
“This Washington-mandated insurance is loaded up with so many specific mandates, that unless you get a massive taxpayer subsidy, it’s just not affordable for many, many families across this country.
“For some people, the insurance gets even more expensive — even less affordable — depending specifically on where you live.
“Insurance companies used to base your premiums on a lot of different factors — like how likely you were to use insurance, and different things specific to how you would use medical services.
“Well, the Obama health care law took away some of that and replaced it with what they call a community rating.
“Now there are only a few factors that can be used to set people’s premiums—and where you actually live is one of those things.
“So your premiums used to be based on you, but now they’re based on your neighbors — and how likely your neighbors are to use their own health insurance.
“What we’re seeing is all across the country — people are paying more specifically because of where they live.
“The ‘Associated Press’ ran a story on this last month. The headline was ‘Rural residents confront higher health care costs.’
“The ‘Associated Press’ quoted a rancher in Colorado whose premiums had jumped 50 percent — to about $1,800 a month.
“This rancher said: ‘We’ve gone from letting the insurance companies use a pre-existing medical condition to jack up rates, to having a pre-existing ZIP code being the reason health insurance is unaffordable.’
“As this rancher said, ‘It’s just wrong.’
“Well, I agree — so I looked into this, and here’s what I found.
“Some of the lines are drawn so that people just down the road — or even people on different sides of the street — can pay wildly different premiums.
“Now these are people of exactly the same age, and these are people who are buying from the lowest cost silver plan.
“Now, the president likes to talk about income inequality, but the president has created a new kind of insurance inequality.
“It’s not just rural areas like where that rancher lives in Colorado.
“In Louisiana, in one community, the premium for the lowest-cost silver plan in the Obamacare exchange, for a 40 year-old person, who doesn’t get a subsidy, would be $255 a month.
“But if you live right across the street, the premium for that same person, same age, same lowest-cost silver plan, would be $311 a month. 22 percent higher — $56 more a month — just because you live on one side of the street instead of the other side of the street under the president’s health care law. That’s $672 a year.
“So that’s Louisiana. Now, let’s take a look at North Carolina—same situation.
“If you live on that side of this line, $263 a month—just down the road, the other side of the line, $319 a month. Again, $56 more a month, $672 more a year, same individual, all they’d have to do is move from that side to this side and they would either save or pay that much more.
“21 percent more expensive one side than the other. Is that fair?
“The Democrats talk about fairness all the time. Democrat Senators have come to the floor to talk about giving everybody a ‘fair shot.’
“Well, do those Democrats who passed this health care law, who voted for the law, think that in that county in North Carolina, that they’re getting a fair shot depending on which side of the line they live? Did the senator from Louisiana believe that they get a fair shot on either side of the line?
“Does President Obama think these people in North Carolina or Louisiana are getting a fair shot?
“So, why did the Democrats in Washington create a law that penalizes people based on which side of the street they live?
“Here’s another example, Arkansas.
“Here we have an area, one side of the line or the other. Over here $263 per month, over here $294 a month. $31 a month more expensive.
“Are those people in Arkansas getting a fair shot from the president’s health care law?
“For too many people — in places like Colorado, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arkansas — the costs of the president’s health care law are unfair and too high.
“Sure there are some people who are being helped, but there are a lot of people who are being hurt by the president’s health care law — people who are feeling the negative side effects of the law.
“Why don’t Democrats admit this? Why don’t they admit that the health care law is not giving people a fair shot?
“Why aren’t the Democrats in the Senate who passed this law coming to the floor to defend the fact that for millions of people in Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado and all across America, the premiums are too high.
“The health care law is too expensive for families — and it’s also too expensive for a lot of employers.
“There was an article in the ‘Denver Post’ last week titled ‘Health law presents options, challenges for Colorado small businesses.’
“The article tells the story of a small business in Denver that sells cardboard boxes.
“According to the article, the owner of this business has offered insurance to his workers for three decades.
“To get a policy that meets the new mandates of the president’s health care law but was going to cost 50 percent more than they had been paying in the past.
“The article says, ‘About half of small businesses in Colorado are seeing double-digit premium increases’ because of the law.
“Double digit premium increases are not what Democrats promised from their health care law, and it’s not what the American people wanted.
“People wanted something very simple from health care reform. They wanted better access to quality, affordable care.
“Instead, Democrats gave Americans higher costs, and unequal treatment.
“That’s not a fair shot —it’s not what the American people wanted, what they needed. And it isn’t working.
“Now, Americans don’t need a law that Democrats voted for without ever reading it. And it’s a law that raises their premiums.
“Republicans have offered a patient-centered approach that would solve the biggest problems facing families – cost of care, access to care, and ownership of their policy.
“That means allowing small businesses to pool resources in order to buy health insurance for their employees.
“It means letting people shop for health insurance in other states and buy what’s actually best for them and their families.
“It means reforming our medical liability system — to give patients fair compensation for tragic mistakes, while ending junk lawsuits that drive up health care costs for everyone.
“It means adequately funding state high-risk pools that help very sick people get insurance, without raising costs for healthier individuals.
“These are just a few solutions Republicans have offered— just a few of the things that we’ll do to give Americans real health care reform, and a real fair shot.
“Heath care reform that gives people the care they need, from a doctor they choose, at lower cost — without all the negative side effects.”