Hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee - ACA Implementation


Date: Oct. 29, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Dave Reichert, member of the Ways and Means Committee, released the following statement after the conclusion of today's hearing on the status of the Affordable Care Act implementation:

"The president's healthcare law has resulted in nothing but a string of broken promises to the American people. From the beginning, President Obama assured Americans that if they like their health care plan they can keep it, and if they like their doctor they can keep their doctor. But he admitted to Republican members of Congress on January 29, 2010, "we said from the start that -- that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you've got, you can keep it; that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.'

"Today, Americans are painfully aware these guarantees simply aren't true. In Washington State alone a quarter million individuals received notices that their health care plan is no longer available and in its place is a higher cost alternative they simply can't afford. Secretary Sebelius testified before this very committee that there would be no more delays in the implementation of the law and that everything would be up and ready to go when the exchanges opened October 1st. This too was a broken promise as the many problems with the rollout of the law are well documented.

"Today, we had the opportunity to discuss these problems and determine the status of the Administration's plans to resolve not only the federal exchange website issues but the problems inherent to the very law itself. While I appreciate Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner's readiness to testify before the Ways and Means committee and engage in a serious conversation about the law's failures, I do not feel that, today, my questions and my constituents' questions were answered. Unfortunately, no definitive solutions were offered to reassure Americans that the failures of the law's implementation will be corrected and, most importantly, won't happen again. In fact, it would seem that all that continues to await us is further problems. It is clear to me that the healthcare law is not ready for the American people. Until this administration can make absolutely certain it's ready, or Congress can repeal what every day becomes a more problematic law that's hurting families, the President owes it to the American people to delay the Individual Mandate, not just a mere six weeks but a full year until this healthcare law, or an alternative, can be implemented smoothly and effectively."