Special to the Journal
Raises Strong Concerns Over Health Care Affordability for Georgians in Rural Areas
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today demanded answers from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Director Marilyn Tavenner at a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
CMS oversees all health insurance provisions in Obamacare and is the agency responsible for setting up the Obamacare exchanges, including the development of HealthCare.gov where Americans should be able to sign up for coverage. Since the Obamacare exchanges opened on Oct. 1, 2013, the website has experienced crashes, glitches and many other issues that have prevented Americans from enrolling.
Isakson pointed out that the issues with the Obamacare website are just the beginning of many other problems with the law. He expressed strong concerns that millions of Americans and an estimated 400,000 Georgians are losing their current health care plans and in many cases are left with options that they cannot afford. Isakson said that he is particularly troubled that Georgians who live in rural areas will be forced to pay higher prices for the same coverage under the law.
“The tremendous failures of the Obamacare website are only the tip of the iceberg. This law presents far more problems and challenges, but the biggest ones of all are the premium increases for the people who can least afford them. For example, in rural Georgia, premiums are more than doubling in some cases and health care costs are going through the roof,” said Isakson. “On behalf of those Georgians, I demand that the administration address these problems. We need to make sure that requiring so much coverage does not have the unintended consequence of running people out of their coverage rather than providing them with the coverage they need and can afford.”
Isakson also questioned Tavenner about the website’s many flaws, including his concerns with the system’s ability to secure Americans’ sensitive personal information.
Isakson has voted to defund, dismantle or repeal Obamacare almost 60 times, and he continues to support its full repeal. Isakson is a co-sponsor of dozens of legislative proposals that would repeal the law in full or provisions in the law, including both the Obamacare Repeal Act, S.177, and, more recently, the Defund Obamacare Act, S.1292. Isakson has also sent a letter to President Obama urging him to permanently delay the implementation of Obamacare for all Americans.