Health care battle heats up again
June 29th, 2013
06:01 AM ET
10 months ago

Health care battle heats up again

(CNN) – As the Obama administration and Democrats gear up to promote the president's sweeping health care reform as a winning solution in the next election cycle, Republicans are gearing up to prove the opposite.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, argued Saturday in the GOP's weekly address that Obamacare is a law crafted out of political maneuvering and has an ill-fated future for Americans.

“Health care as you know it will change," he said. "Simply put, will you and your family have the health insurance you need to ensure your well-being?"

He pointed to a recent report from the Government Accounting Office that found problems with the exchanges and cautioned the system may not be up and running by October 1, the start date for open enrollment for insurance plans.

"Time is running out. As one of the Democrat authors of the bill said, American families are facing 'a train wreck'," Roberts said. He was referring to Sen. Max Baucus of Montana who told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius he was concerned the public was not being educated enough before the rollout of the plans.

"Too little is known about the exchanges," Roberts argued. "The fear is that only the sick will pay to join the exchange without young healthy people to foot the bill, then all costs will further skyrocket."

Obama defended the law as recently as June 7, when he touted the Affordable Care Act's success in California. Pointing out that many opponents predicted costs would rise and choice would decrease, the president rattled off statistics showing more insurers have applied to enter the California insurance marketplace when it opens in October, and that estimated premiums have been lower than expected.

But Roberts said Saturday that lawmakers should have done more in 2010 to "create real change" as the bill was being written.

"We should have expanded access to care for those in need while protecting the all-important relationship between you and your doctor," he said.

He's introducing his own bill in the Senate to ensure the public exchanges and fee for those who don't have insurance will cease to exist if the program isn't ready by October.

"We need to make the right kind of change to the health care system… change that doesn't include higher taxes, higher premiums and decision-making by government bureaucrats rather than our own doctors," he said.

More than half of Americans oppose the law. According to a CNN/ORC International Poll last month, 43% favor the Affordable Care Act, while 54% oppose it. It's worth noting that a significant chunk of the opposition comes from people who say the law does not go far enough. Overall, 35% oppose the law because it is too liberal; 16% say they oppose it because it is not liberal enough.

– CNN’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Kansas • Pat Roberts
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    GOP idiots are done deal–they never win for another DECADE OR SO.

    June 29, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    TAX me some more Bro

    June 29, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    @Ray E. (Georgia): Cite your source for "no one paying for it."

    BTW, everyone who is insured has been paying for all of the folks who are un- and under-insured for decades, paying a lot more for their care because they couldn't get cheaper preventive care and resorted to ERs for treatment. With Obamacare, costs will go down, since folks will be getting less-expensive preventive care, reducing visits to the ER.

    Because of medical science, people are living longer, and THAT'S one of the biggest reasons for rising healthcare costs. For example, by 2050, we may well be spending $1 trillion on Alzheimer's care alone!

    What to do? Encourage healthier lifestyles to reduce poor health contributing factors such as obesity; fund more research for effective treatments for aliments such as Alzheimers; decide if we are a civil society that sucks it up and takes care of those less fortunate than us or become a nation that values profit over people.

    June 29, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Name Uche Agonsi

    If Pat Roberts & the GOPers think that ObamaCare requires more information to succeed, then they should help educating Americans about it, not condemning it. Besides, if they suggest alternative programs without taxes or premiums, it means Americans have to provide their health bills privately. The issue is what happens to people who cannot pay their medical bills. Its funny the GOPers should criticise such important bill that aimed at solving a crucial social problem without allowing it to come into effect & judging the result .

    June 29, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. gumdrop1957

    Hey Stuffit, I am from Texas and I can tell you that there are a lot of us that did not want the right wing legislation that Perry and his cronies tried to pass. he has now called two special legislative session at tax payers expense to try to pass a bill that was defeated twice. We are proud of Wendy Davis and her filibuster attempts and at this moment there is a state wide movement to have her run for the next Governor of Texas and finally oust the "Ole Boys club" that has terrorized this state for so long. mark my words, Texas will be purple by the next election and blue in the very near future.

    June 29, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Mel

    To many bad issues this law needs to be quashed. Stop this law it has taken to many american insurance jobs and they are now functioning overseas another 100,000 are expected to loose jobs in the next year.

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Seibus is asking for monies to be donated they are out of funds they can not get it up and running Congress will not fund anymore money,

    We have Nancy Pelosi waiving her finger at us telling us how to celebrate the 4rth of July and celebrate it knowing Obamacare is now going to give american health insurance. I am celebrating this holiday knowing that the law is taking my freedom away without my vote without your vote. It was passed on Christmas eve 2009 and then law was signed March 2010. No one read the law or had any idea what the law said. It was around 2,000=pages now with all the confusine called health reform the law is now 22,700=pages.

    The Federal government has already violated this law and shared private health information and protected information on that we know of 60-million Californians.

    HHS Secretary Kathleen Seibius is looking for funding Obamacare the Congress denied more funding so she is asking for donations they question whether this is legal, ethical for a political agenda.

    This bill did not create jobs it took jobs. Many collegues I worked with are gone their jobs yes insurance jobs went overseas when the pressure hit the carriers to comply to the law they had to get resourceful and cut costs. Now another 100,000 Sales,

    June 29, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. king

    why people still lesson to the repub, there is nothing that come out of their mouth that end up to be truthful: all the scandals; not one is truthful, the lies they say about the earth is not warming, the healthcare plan that should have destroyed the country 4 years ago, is only the best job creator in the country and pulling down the deficit, please someone tell me one thing that the repubs harp on over and over again that turns out to be truthful, its like these guys are alergic to fact and predicting disasters.

    June 29, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. just askin

    obamacare was jammed down our throats by democrats and democrats only. so many parts of it have proven to be undoable and then there was the part the ussc threw out. it is already falling apart and the worse is yet to come. cbo estimates many many millions of americans will lose their current healthcare. obama promised that would not happen. he lied as usual. the cost has already tripled and will only get higher.

    so the only question left to answer is... who will the liberals and democrats blame when their grand delusion called obamacare explodes? who will they blame??? they are the only ones that forced this on us but they will try and blame others. they always always do.

    June 29, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    ObamaCare was a start to controlling a runaway medical system that just continues to get worse, and cost more. If all you can do is damn this new system then you have nothing worth saying. Why not offer solutions. Why not? Because you do not have any.

    June 29, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  10. Dan5404t

    The GOP is doing everything they can to make it fail so their billionaire health corporation donors can continue to rip off the public with outrageous prices and millions will go uncovered.

    June 29, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  11. in the state of Texas

    Makes me sick what they are doing here to the women, minorities and education. Texas Lotto was supposed to help the school systems financially – what happened there. Our roads don't look like we are an oil state. Where did and is all the money going. TOO THE WEALTHY and the TEXAS government.

    June 29, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. norma jean

    Republican Roberts says "law makers should have done more........." What were he and the Repubs doing for the last two years that have helped make things better????? NOTHING BUT COMPLAIN!!!!!... they made no effort to get this situation under control and are now blaming the Democrats and the president for things being problematical.....The Repubs are and have always been nothing but "talkers'....THEY DON'T CONTRIBUTE!!!!!!!

    June 30, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  13. cc

    I'm from Kansas, Who do you think is more worthless my Governor or my Senator?

    June 30, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  14. Tony in Maine

    Beyond taxes, which is an argument based on the "idea" that people will continue to pay for private insurance even when their coverage is paid for by taxes (HUH?), what is the problem with universal single payer government health care as in much of the rest of the 1st World?

    The only explanation I can think of is mean-spiritedness. They don't want other people to have access to doctors and hospitals. Then they can go to church, get a handshake from Pastor Billy Bob and claim to be followers of Jesus. LOL

    June 30, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  15. Ray E. (Georgia)

    There are simply much better ways to do National Health Care than Obama Care. If Obama Care ever get's fully implented, it will be so bad it will finally crust the economy and we will be much worse off than we are now. Look at the Jobs situation and the National Debt as examples. And of course the old Soviet Union, where Socalisim was tried, and failed.

    June 30, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  16. Mack

    Always worrry about "any" bill that's delayed several years from being implemented until "after" elections

    June 30, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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