Congressman Tom Reed voted in the House of Representatives recently to allow health plans currently available on the individual market to continue in 2014, giving Americans the opportunity to continue to enroll in those plans without penalty under the Affordable Care Act. The Keep Your Health Plan Act passed the House with bipartisan support.
"First and foremost, our focus is on helping Americans and taking care of those misled by the president's health care law," Congressman Reed said. "Families are worried and anxious about what their health care will look like next year. One step in easing their concerns is to do what's fair and give individuals the freedom and flexibility to choose the health care that best cares for their families."
Congressman Reed spoke this week with a small business owner from Ithaca who wanted to keep the health insurance he and his wife currently have and are happy with. Despite hearing repeatedly from the president he would be able to do so, he received a cancellation letter in the mail. Following research and contact with a navigator, he ultimately made the decision to forgo insurance and pay the penalty because the coverage available to his family under the Affordable Care Act was too costly.
According to Reed, despite the president's repeated promise, millions more families across the country are receiving cancellation notices of their health care plans. The Wall Street Journal reported as many as 10 million consumers could have their plans canceled by their insurers effective Jan. 1.
"Yesterday, the president addressed the nation saying he wanted to help those he led to believe could keep their health care plan but are now receiving cancellation letters in the mail," Reed continued. "Today's bill in the House addresses that very problem the president said his aim was to correct. My hope is that the president works with Congress in advancing this bill to help Americans hurt by Obamacare."
Cancellation notices are one of a growing list of the Affordable Care Act's woes Reed said he's hearing from constituents. Stories of doubled premiums, limited access to doctors and reduced hours in the workplace reach Reed's office daily.
"The cancellations are just one failure of the law not living up to its promises. Expensive premiums and stories of employees having their hours cut persist. Another constituent I spoke with from Bath had his hours at an auto parts store cut from 35 to 25 hours per week, even though he wasn't receiving employer-sponsored insurance." The letter he received from his company cited the Affordable Care Act as the reason for the lost hours.