Floor Speech

Date: June 4, 2015
Location: Washington D.C.


Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, it has been 5 years since Americans were forced into a broken and unhappy relationship with ObamaCare. Ever sincethe implementation of this failed law, Americans have received one broken promise after another. For Montana families, reflecting on the consequences of this law is not a happy trip down memory lane. Too many Montanans have seen their work hours cut, they have been forced off the plans they liked, and they were told they could not see the doctors whom they trusted.

The reviews have been in for quite some time, and ObamaCare is not anything close to what Montanans were promised. Five years later, insurance companies are still unable to find stable rates that do not force more uncertainty and hardship upon Montanans. It has been widely reported across the country that rates for millions of Americans are set to skyrocket again. Look no further than Montana, where it is evident that health care premiums are not as affordable as President Obama promised they would be. Policies sold through ObamaCare exchanges are becoming even more expensive. In fact, in Montana, according to filings with the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, insurers across the board are asking for double-digit increases for 2016 policies on top of more increases that occurred just last year.

Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is Montana's largest insurer that boasts 255,000 consumers in the State, is asking for an average increase of 23 percent for Montanans enrolled in individual plans. That is the start.

PacificSource filed papers with the commissioner requesting an average of a 31-percent increase for individual plans. What about Montana Health CO-OP? They have requested a 38-percent increase for individual plans. And Montanans who were insured under Time Insurance are facing a staggering 47-percent increase in 2016.

Increased premiums make it harder for Montanans to have access to affordable health care. It is money that no longer is in the pockets of Montanans, and those rate increases are not just in Montana. Across the Nation, Americans are seeing massive and debilitating rate increases. These hikes are a far cry from what Montanans--from what the American people were promised.

In 2007, President Obama said himself that by the end of his first term, ObamaCare would ``cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year.''

Montanans have not seen their premiums decreased by $2,500 a year. It is not even close. Unfortunately, this is the predictable result of forcing a partisan piece of legislation through Congress without transparent consideration or bipartisan input. We need to ensure health care is affordable, and it needs to be accessible for all Montanans. That starts with repealing ObamaCare, repealing its costly mandates, repealing its burdensome taxes, and repealing the senseless regulations. ObamaCare is not working and it is not popular. This law is a bureaucratic nightmare that hurts small businesses.

I just came out of a meeting with some homebuilders and small business owners from Montana. I showed them this chart before I came down to the floor. One of the builders said: This likely means I no longer will be able to provide health care insurance for my employees.

Growing up in Montana, I grew up hunting, camping, backpacking, fishing. In fact, I was fly fishing in Montana before Brad Pitt made it cool in the movie ``A River Runs Through It.'' I know that when your fishing line gets tangled up, you have two options. I have been there many times on one of the banks of Montana's rivers. Sometimes you take a minute, sometimes you take several minutes, and you work to untangle the line. But other times the line gets so badly knotted up that the best option, instead of spending a long time untangling the line, is to simply cut the line.

After 5 failed years, the American people know ObamaCare is too badly tangled to fix. It is time to cut the line and tie on a new fly.

I yield the floor.

Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.