WASHINGTON – Today, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus, along with NRCC Chairman Greg Walden, Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise, Congressman Bill Cassidy and Congressman Bob Latta, held a press conference with Americans who have been negatively affected by ObamaCare. Those affected will spoke about their ObamaCare troubles and later joined their Members of Congress as guests for the State of the Union.
View the video and transcript below:
- Hi, I’m Gary Floeter from Cookeville, Tennessee. I’ve been in business for 45 years, started out the American dream with 4 employees and I’ve grown to seventy something employees at this time. We have always offered major medical coverage to our employees because we’re looking for the most competitive environment to hire folks. We want the best of the best. Currently, we have HRA plan, high deductible plan, which lowers our cost. Under the current administration’s plans we are being assessed a tax or a fee to find the difference between a tax or a fee because we self ensure our deductible. In 2016, the definition of a small business will be redefined to the federal standard, in which case we will no longer be to offer the same benefits we’re offered today. I feel like I’m being punished for providing the level of care that I have provided to my employees. Why even put a limit on the deductible. Employees need to have skin in the game. Since I began business some 45 years ago, right now the uncertainty and the added expense is creating the inability for me to plan for the future and on margins that I work with in a mechanical contracting industry are razor thin, these additional costs are very, very unpredictable. I would ask, if possible that these provisions be rescinded and we can go back to being able to offer benefits to our employees unencumbered.
- My name is Diane Hunter and I’m a franchise owner and I own five offices in Southeastern Ohio. I employee over 300 people. From 2010-2012 my home health business grew by 6%. In 2016, or in I’m sorry…in 2013 my sales declined by 6.5% due to the enforcement of the affordable care act. Commercial insurances had to reevaluate the reauthorization process with the Obamacare changes. As a result the number of visits authorized, significantly dropped causing a serious financial impact to my company. Fewer patients have been approved under the Medicaid plan are now being scrutinized for home care service. There has been no increase in Medicaid reimbursement in my state for over 10 years. Our Medicaid reimbursement has been cut the past 2 years and that’s what we have to look forward to again for the following 2 years. So an additionally 4% decrease in Medicare reimbursement. At this moment, we’re are trying to improve care and in order to improve care, I need to add quality insurance staff, hire more nurses, aides and therapists to take care of these patients at home. But yet I need to include these employees in my health insurance plan in order to meet the requirements of the Obama employer mandate. These are all additional expenses that are being incurred yet I am being expected to be reimbursed less and less.
- Good afternoon. My name is Diane Iser I am from Hoffman States, Illionois and I’m a very grateful 11 year breast cancer survivor. I had my current policy cancelled October 1 due to Obamacare and reinstated December 30. I am wondering how I am going to retain and keep my doctors who saved my life, at the end of this year, when my deductibles will increase 300 percent, my premium will increase 50 percent, and every time I use the emergency room whether I met my deductable or not, I will have to pay $500 versus the $75 I pay now. And I ask, what gives your government the right to move you into something that is clearly unaffordable.
- I’m Sarah Schulte from Gainesville, Georgia and I recently moved to work for a local faith based nonprofit that does human trafficking work. I chose this field because it is something I am very passionate about even knowing that I would not be receiving healthcare. Unfortunately because of ObamaCare I am in a situation now where to explore all my options, I am putting my identify at risk putting my identity at risk with an insecure website and I’m also concerned about the fact that I will be penalized as an educated citizen if I choose to not be insured. So those are some of my very pressing concerns, and I’m in the very demographic that the president has insisted he is trying to help.
- Good afternoon, my name is Larry Katz and I am from Metairie, Louisiana. I also have had the opportunity to live the American dream starting a small business 18 years ago now and opening a chain of diners in the New Orleans area. We’ve offered a full-range of benefits to our employees from day one, including health insurance, life insurance, dental, paid vacations, holidays, etc. We were forced this past December 31st to cancel our health insurance and stop offering it to all our employees, including themselves, and to fend for themselves. The reason why we cancelled it is was because had I offered insurance, none of my employees would have been eligible for a subsidy. And the sad thing to that is today there are 10 less employees that have health insurance than had they before Obamacare started at the beginning of this year. So 10 less people have health insurance. Additionally, I’m looking to cut costs because starting next year, I’ll have over a $70,000 penalty and I need to get that money from somewhere so I need to lower our costs and I’ll be reducing benefits, I’ll be reducing staffing, and any plans of expansion is off the table.
- Hi my name’s Aaron Hirsch, I’m from Slidell, Louisiana. I am an IT contractor I’m self employed and I’m in the individual healthcare market. I had a policy for my family and myself and I got a letter informing me that my policy was cancelled because it did not meet the minimum requirements for the Affordable Care Act. And the policy I’ve received as a replacement is now going to cost me 80% more in premiums which works out to about $5500 more a year in premiums that I’ll have to pay for services that I don’t really need and increased costs that I don’t want to incur. Thank you.
- Hello my name is Julie Anderson and I’m from St. Cloud, Minnesota. I’m a family physician at a private practice and I’m concerned about regulations on my practice and as a family physician, I just want to take care of patients, that’s all I want to do, and I feel like over the past few years we’ve had increased burdens and I would even coin a phrase, “bureaucratization” of my clinic with the government in my examination room with my patients. My patients have had to travel long ways to see me just to be able to get an authorization to get a wheeled walker for example. So I would like to see less regulation in my practice so that I could do the job that I was trained to do, which is to take good quality patient care at a reasonable cost.
- Julie Boonstra: Hi. Five years ago I was diagnosed chronic myelogenous leukemia. At that time I found out that my health insurance plan was not adequate. So I enrolled in a new plan that fully covered me. So life has been hard fighting leukemia but my insurance needs were met. In October I received a letter telling me that my insurance plan was being dissolved. I tried to get on the website several times, and every time it was a failure. For me that means without having insurance I cannot receive my oral chemotherapy that I need every day in order to survive. So I ended up enrolling in a private plan where I can at least get my chemotherapy but of course I’m paying a higher cost now as far as out of pocket costs and the coverage is just not the same. Thank you.
- Good Afternoon. My name is Sherri Garner Brumbaugh and I am President/CEO of Garner Trucking in Finland, Ohio. Our business started with one truck with our parents, and now we are at 110 trucks and we have 160 employees. I am fearful that the Obamacare I will not be able to provide health insurance for my families and my families are an extension of the Garner family we have been able to provide good benefits as long as the company has been in existence. I’m fearful that my competitors will drop their coverage and I will have to do so as well to stay competitive in the market. Thank you.
- Hello, my name is Amy Milstead, and I’m from Spring, Texas which is just north of Houston if you know where that’s at. I too am a second generation business owner, my family has had an automotive repairs shop collision center and towing center for 41 years. We have always tried to stay competitive with our competition; we’ve always tried to offer medical insurance for our employees. Now it is going to be difficult. We’re experiencing the changes that are going with our new increases, we are going to renew our policies in July of this year, and we are already looking at the increases that are coming across the board. It has caused us to look outside the box, we are looking at self insured plans, we are looking at partially self insured plans, we don’t know if this is a time when we need to lay employees off, if we need to hire more part time employees, how we’re going to pay for this insurance. We have quit buying the equipment, we are trying to save the capital towards the medical insurance, all along trying to provide these things at the demand of meeting the requirements of the lower deductibles, not going over 9.5% of the employee’s income, no more than $6,350 out of the pocket for their deductibles and their co pays is really going to be challenging this year. Thank you for listening to my story.