Health care battle heats up again
June 29th, 2013
06:01 AM ET
1 year 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. Thomas

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

    Dear Mr Roberts , how do you deal with a party that has no new ideas , who's only agenda was making Obama a one term president ?

    June 29, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Could these idiots stop this BS. It is now a "Law". Period.

    June 29, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Wha, wha, whaaa.... Of course it's stupid. It's a Republican original! But it IS the law of the land.

    Obama was crazy to try and find something Republicans wanted just to placate them and get them on board. They were never going to work with him anyway.

    June 29, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The intrusion into religious beliefs, will yet be the downfall of this administration.

    June 29, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    The Affordable Healthcare Act is the law of the land, as determined by the conservative majority Supreme Court. Any attempt to thwart it by the domestic-terrorist GOP, is just scare-tacticts, designed to satisfy low-info, low-intellect voters (aka, the GOP base)who do no research on their own, and believe everything the GOP tells them. Today's GOP has as much regard for American citizens as the Taliban or Al-Queda, maybe even less, that's why the GOP is a greater threat to the nation.

    June 29, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw, humm,
    Nothin wrong with Obama Care excp nubody's payin fur it. De helth and human services sec tary is now beggin the people fur funds. Is it possible all the folks that voted for this fiasco now expect somebody else to divvy up the funds Good luck with that!

    June 29, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Guess

    More lies, man does this party seriously struggle with the truth

    June 29, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. ghost

    The American people are getting tired of the lying GOP. 2014 cannot get here soon enough.

    June 29, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. dixie

    this should never been voted on when no one knew what was in the bill. It bites us all in the behind. I have not recieved the first piece of mail on this program. No one even knows if the exchange is up or how to contact it if it is.

    June 29, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. rs

    Roberts apparently hasn't grasped the United States is not even in the top 37 nations of the world when it comes to healthcare. It's really funny he's attacking the exchanges- the Republican Capitalist solution to the problem of affordability.
    The "party of life" simply wants the poor and the elderly to die in the ditch- after all, they're the "takers".

    June 29, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. saywhat

    "political maneuvering " "ill fated future for Americans" is what this pitiful Congress is all about Mr.Roberts.

    June 29, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    dixie – You are exactly the type of voter I mentioned. Research it for yourself, instead of waiting for the GOP to tell you how scary and bad it is. You right-wingers just refuse to think for yourselves, it's both embarrassing and shameful.

    June 29, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Donkey Party

    Stuffit – It's one thing for us to all believe that you're an insane idiot, it's another thing for you to leave comments that confirm that belief.

    June 29, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Finding flaws in the current health care law, GOP? Of course you are.. There are plenty of flaws in it. So why don't you offer your own plans to make the existing law better and more workable? What's stopping you from doing it? Oh that's right! You have no plans for helping to "fix" anything in this country. Just "No, no, no..." like petulant three year olds.

    What's stopping you from proposing your own laws and making it better? Crickets....

    June 29, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Can someone remind me why we should listen to ANYTHING that ANY [R] from Kansas has to say about a science-based issue??

    Come on, really now, we're in the 21st century now, and Kansas [R]s are still dreaming of the good old days when regressive ideological dogma held sway, no questions asked. It is an evolutionary abomination that some modern humans are proud to be so stupid.

    June 29, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. ge

    universal health care is the only way to go-and get rid of the middle men ,that do nothing but rake in profit

    June 29, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    @dixie: "this should never been voted on when no one knew what was in the bill. It bites us all in the behind. I have not recieved the first piece of mail on this program. No one even knows if the exchange is up or how to contact it if it is."

    The bill was available ONLINE for everyone to read ... it was debated in the Senate and the House FOR A YEAR.

    Regarding the exchange: That's your STATE'S responsibility. If you live in a red state that only wants the President to fail so they can blame him, YOU need to blame your state for putting their selfish goals ahead of your well-being.

    June 29, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. lynn580

    Healthcare.gov is the site to access information. Republicans: "Repeal and replace." Once again, R's have nothing to offer except criticism.

    June 29, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Thomas

    @Rick McDaniel
    The intrusion into religious beliefs, will yet be the downfall of this administration.
    =====

    Who's beliefs are you referring too ?

    Is there only one ?

    June 29, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. sonkarlay

    Why republican don't want anything positive for this nation, if this health care was a tax cut for millionaire republican was going to be first in line for it but its for helping the poor so they opposed it, if we work together as a nation everything will be possible, their gold was obama to be one term president but it fills we have another 3 more years of obstruction

    June 29, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Ron L

    "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."

    IDIOT!!! that is why the mandatory part of the bill was put in place which was ORIGINALLY a Republican idea.

    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.

    PLEASE NOTE..He is not offering an idea to replace the exchanges, he is just destroying something that may not be perfect at it's introduction!! My problem with this constant complaining by the Republicans on this issue is they offer NO CONCRETE solution to adding / covering more Americans. Why aren't both parties addressing the REAL Healthcare issue...the costs are TOO HIGH...and the system does not allow comparative shopping like all the other businesses in America.

    As a person who had to go without healthcare insurance for 2 years after having it for close to 30 because it was tied to my employment. I attempted to continue the same coverage, which was over $1000.00 a month. This proved to be IMPOSSIBLE to do more than a few months while receiving unemployment. The psychological stress associated with being over 50 and no coverage is nerve racking and ridiculous in such a wealthy country!! The system we currently have DOES NOT work, and while Obamacare has it's flaws it is better than just leaving it as is...

    June 29, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. simplyput

    Everyone knows there will be reforms to the ACA: no one will forget how it was passed, and the lack of due diligence in reading and understanding of the law by the donkey party before they passed it.

    June 29, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Michael Benjamin

    Baucus had a lot to do with Obamacare. Why wasn't he asking these questions during the hearings? It's perfectly OK for Baucus to ring the alarm bells now that his senate career is coming to an end. Put all of these politicians in a bag, shake it and see who falls out first.

    June 29, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. jboh

    California-costs on exchange less than expected. Washington State-day the exchanged was started Insurance Corps w/highest rates reduce premiums. It will work in states that want it, and be a problem in states that obstruct it. As to infringement on religious beliefs, Any TEA/GOP supporter is a hypocritical troll.

    June 29, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Jean2

    It is hard to understand why Republican law makers and governors from poor needy states refuse help with health care. THIS IS SHAMEFUL IN THIS OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!!!!

    June 29, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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