Rep. Hultgren: White House ACA Numbers Meant to 'Change Subject'
Although the White House is touting the enrollment numbers for Obamacare, the figures don't hold much water, says Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren.
"Well, it's hard to know how they're coming up with these numbers. The numbers we're hearing kind of at the same time — which you wonder if it's a distraction— we just heard the CMS reporting that premiums for 11 million people are going to increase under Obamacare.
"We were promised so much from the president, from others, that if you like your healthcare, you can keep it. With Obamacare, with the Affordable Care Act, your premiums would go down, deductibles wouldn't go up. We're seeing just the opposite happen," Hultgren told Newsmax TV's John Bachman on "America's Forum."
"And that really sad story about that child with the ear problem losing the ability to see a specialist, to see your doctor, plans being canceled left and right. We're hearing it from so many of my constituents just in the western suburbs of Chicago. So many unfulfilled promises and questions about the numbers coming from the White House and feeling like an attempt to switch the subject," he said Wednesday.
Hultgren, who has represented Illinois' s 14th Congressional District since 2011, also says Obama will feel the heat from Democratic senators who are starting to challenge the healthcare law.
"The president isn't running again. He's a lame duck and doesn't have another election ahead of him, but certainly the Senate does, and many of these senators that are in tough elections, or the ones that were very outspoken, are saying, 'hey, if you want to keep your healthcare plan, you can keep it' and we're finding out that all that is not true. So, that's where the pressure comes to have some real change," he said.
"We're going to continue to do our work in the House just pointing out all of the problems there are and providing real solutions. And what I'm excited about is putting together plans in the House, working with, hopefully, our Senate colleagues to say there is a way to address real problems with healthcare."
"Ultimately, it's going to be senators feeling pressure from their own constituents in their own elections that will push the president to act appropriately," Hultgren added.
A member of the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Hultgren said he was also concerned about high security risks on the healthcare exchange websites.
"On the Science Committee we had people come in to talk about the real threat to people's information. One of our witnesses talked about this being a hacker's dream, that to have this amount, this volume of personal, pertinent information that really is not protected, it is very scary. And it's really upsetting to me, again, once more, that the administration, many people knew that the security wasn't in place. They knew that, but they pushed it forward and that's a huge problem."
Asked where the Republicans stand on a counterproposal to Obamacare, Hultgren replied, "Over the last few weeks, we've had so much discussion on this, and it's something I've been pushing for."
"It's not enough to say 'let's get rid of this law,'" Hultgren said. "What we have to do is [find] what's the right approach to addressing healthcare, and we've got a great caucus of doctors who serve in Congress who've helped fashion ideas that would bring down the cost of healthcare, still making sure that people can get access to care, but something that will really be available to them, finding out what the drivers of cost are."