Speaker John Boehner (OH-08) and Representatives Steve Chabot (OH-01), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Bob Latta (OH-05), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Mike Turner (OH-10), Pat Tiberi (OH-12), Dave Joyce (OH-14), Steve Stivers (OH-15), and Jim Renacci (OH-16) today released the following statement reacting to their constituents’ experiences with open enrollment and the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) downgrade of projected enrollees. The delegation is encouraging constituents to continue the conversation by using the “hashtags” #ObamaCare #StoriesFromOhio on social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook.
“All across Ohio, the harmful effects of the president’s health care law continue to be widespread. Premiums and deductibles are rising, plans are being cancelled, people are losing access to their doctors, and small businesses have been forced to reduce employee hours in order to comply with the law’s mandates – turning full-time work into part-time work for too many.
“The president’s Department of Health and Human Services recently reduced its estimate for projected enrollees, acknowledging the same lack of confidence Ohioans have expressed in the product it’s selling.
“We've heard from a great many of our constituents who have shared their stories, and that is why we will continue to fight to repeal and replace this broken system with real health care solutions that will lead to lower costs and more choices.”
Following are testimonials from Ohioans throughout the state:
"We have a ten-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. We are already feeling the effects of Obamacare, with our current insurance company limiting therapy visits…and informing us that her current drugs may not be covered starting in January. I believe health care reform is needed. However, government-controlled healthcare is not the answer. Health care needs to be patient-and-doctor centered, with competition allowed across state lines for insurance companies.”
–Carol, Mason, OH
“Our premiums are jumping by 18 percent for 2015 and because of Obamacare; we will lose our plan in 2016. We are a healthy family of three, and have had no significant claims. I worry that next year, my family and I will be facing even higher deductibles, out of pocket costs, and premiums for a plan that doesn’t meet our needs.”
–Mike, Cincinnati, OH
“My company had insurance that our employees liked, but costs rose rapidly when Washington started discussing the Affordable Care Act. After Obamacare was passed I hoped that the prices would stabilize, but unfortunately we are still facing huge increases this year. We now have insurance through a new company that got its start with Obamacare but we are very unhappy. Our new plan has altered our prescription coverage so that some employees must pay hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket for prescriptions that were previously covered with reasonable co-pays. Everyone should be able to sit down with their own doctor and decide what treatment is best.”
– Dan, Business owner in Ohio’s 4th District
"I am very disappointed with the Affordable Care Act. I just had to change my insurance policy through work because my premium would have gone up by $1300/year. I liked my policy. I wanted to keep my policy. I was told that I could keep it if I liked it. But it was not supposed to go up in cost. The ACA was supposed to save us $2500 not increase costs by $1300.”
- Resident of Ohio’s 5th District, Perrysburg, Ohio
“Our medical insurance premium costs went from $235 per month to $520 per month…President Obama promised that people would not have to choose between quality medical care and the basic essentials of life… I think that this system and the president have greatly failed me and many Americans in what was promised. I go to bed at night wondering how I am going to pay the increase in the medical insurance premiums as well as the increases in the out of pocket medical expenses we now face.”
– Alice, Dennison, OH
"Since I was a sophomore I had been working two jobs at Miami University to help pay for my education. When I received a letter over the summer saying that I would no longer be able to work more than thirty hours a week because of a new ObamaCare requirement, I was forced to give up one of my jobs. This is happening to students all over the country due to the reckless requirements written into the President's health care law. At a time when education is so expensive in the United States, these work hour requirements are hurting hardworking students."
-Carolyn Turner, Daughter of Congressman Mike Turner, Dayton, OH
“My insurance has increased over $100 a month. My daughter is not covered because I cannot afford it, plus Medicaid has not gotten back to me about her (she has a disability). My deductible is $2500, which I have to pay before anything is covered! I cannot even afford to go to doctor and my employer said it is because of ObamaCare. There are no extras, just basic coverage. I hope nothing major happens to me and my family!”
– Sherrie, Hartville, OH
"I found out today our premium is going up again this year another 35 percent. We also have a $7,000 dollar deductible... It really angers me. We pay our taxes, we pay our bills. We try to do the right thing … As things stand right now, with increasing cost of living, [stagnant] wages, and increasing health care costs, I don't know how we are going to remain financially solvent and also have any kind of quality of life. For a health care law that was intended to help people, it sure seems that the ones who are being hurt are those who have worked hard to make a living for themselves.”
-Jamey, Piqua, OH
"My premiums rose 25 percent this year and will rise 25 percent again next year. It’s not just my premiums that are increasing; my out-pocket-expenses went from copays to a 20 percent cost-share, as well. Obamacare certainly hasn’t made healthcare more affordable for me.”
– Nancy, Central Ohio
“I had the same health insurance plan since 2007, one that was affordable and the right plan for me. Six months ago, I got a letter from my insurance company telling me that because of ObamaCare, they were no longer offering the plan I had been on for seven years. After struggling to find a new plan, my new monthly premium is now doubled from $425 to over $900."
– Jeff, Hudson, OH
“My name is Mildred and I retired as a teacher's aide. I now live in my daughter's home. As a retiree from the Ohio School system, I used to have a good health care plan which has covered a heart surgery in addition to other health needs. When ObamaCare started I received a notice that my premium would increase from $66.00 to $299.00 per month. That new amount was way more than my meager pension. I had no choice but to cancel my policy. My doctors tell me that I will eventually need another heart operation. I don't know what I will do.”
– Mildred, Columbus, OH
“I own a small business and employ close to 1,000 people, of which 700 should be eligible for insurance. If 75 percent of those eligible participate, I will be put out of business within 3-6 months. Though I am planning to hire and expand, the 30-hour definition of full-time employment within Obamacare threatens our very existence. I urge Congress to apply the traditional 40-hour definition of full-time employment to the health care law in order to provide me with the certainty I need to grow my company and create jobs.”
– Jim, North Canton, Ohio