Rep. Anne Kirkpatrick (D) Az. explains why Kool Aid is her drink of choice.
Thank you for contacting my office and sharing your opinion on the Affordable Care Act. I am here to represent my constituents, so its important that I hear directly from you. I am working hard to represent District One by reaching across the aisle on efforts to create a diversified, stable economy in Arizona. This includes supporting legislation to create jobs, fight for our veterans and protect Social Security and Medicare for seniors and working families.
I have been hearing from many District One constituents who have concerns about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these concerns are understandable. The stunningly inept rollout of the Healthcare.gov website is more than a public relations disaster. It is a disaster for the working families in our district who badly need quality, affordable health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is working hard to fix these issues so that the millions of Americans who want to get covered can get covered. In the meantime, I will try to address your concerns.
Some people have received letters from their insurance companies canceling their current policy and quoting new policies with higher premiums. The president has announced an extension to sign up for the healthcare exchange for anyone whose current insurance plan has been canceled. If you received a cancellation notice, you can now keep your current plan for a year. If your insurance company has quoted a new policy with a higher premium, you should shop around for the plan that fits you best. Any new policies sold to consumers must be comprehensive, and insurance companies are no longer allowed to deny coverage or charge more based on a persons medical history. Additionally, many people will qualify for help in purchasing coverage as part of the ACA, resulting in lower costs.
I have often said that the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, and I am willing to work across the aisle to improve it. This is why I voted in July for a one-year extension for small businesses and individuals to comply with ACA requirements. But I recently voted against H.R. 3350, the Upton bill, because it would neither fix nor improve the ACA. It would raise premiums and undermine market reform by discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, restoring annual caps on care, and forcing women to pay more than men for the same coverage.
I have also been hearing concerns that Members of Congress and their staff would be exempt from participating in the exchanges. In fact, members and their staff are the only individuals whom the law explicitly removes from their existing employer-based coverage. In other words, the law requires Members of Congress and staff to receive their health insurance through the new ACA marketplaces. My staff and I will be participating in the exchanges because we believe that Congress should have to follow the law just like everyone else, without exemption.
The Affordable Care Act is designed to give consumers and states new tools to fight against unfair premium increases. While the impact of many of the reforms will be realized over the coming years, it is already bringing unprecedented transparency and oversight to insurance premiums to help rein in the kind of excessive and unreasonable rate increases that have made insurance unaffordable for so many American families and small businesses. The ACA is already helping the people of District One, along with millions of Americans, by making critical changes to our health care system that help people access quality, affordable care.
As the federal government continues its work to address the problems with the Healthcare.gov website, I encourage you to use my office as a resource. Our website has a page that answers many questions about the Affordable Care Act and provides helpful links. You can find it at kirkpatrick.house.gov/resources/healthcare.
I need to hear from you so I can give you a voice in Congress. I urge you to sign up for my eNewsletter at kirkpatrick.house.gov/contact/newsletter so you can receive updates from Washington and Arizona. For social media updates, like my Facebook page at facebook.com/RepKirkpatrick or follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/RepKirkpatrick. To contact my DC or Arizona offices for legislative, veterans or constituent resources, please visit my website at kirkpatrick.house.gov.
I like how she says that delaying the implementation of the law is considered an improvement. That must mean that a permanent delay would be the best improvement of all!
Correction...I need to not listen to you, I listen to the Almighty Boz and Princess NancyP...go sit down and shut up.