Higher Premiums, Limited Access: What Other Surprises Are In Store?

April 13, 2010

FYI, a version of the release below went out to the following districts: Tim Bishop (NY-01); John Boccieri (OH-16); Leonard Boswell (IA-03); Allen Boyd (FL-02); Dennis Cardoza (CA-18); Russ Carnahan (MO-03); Chris Carney (PA-10); Gerry Connolly (VA-11); Jim Costa (CA-20); Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03); Joe Donnelly (IN-02); Steve Driehaus (OH-01); Bill Foster (IL-14); Gabby Giffords (AZ-08); Alan Grayson (FL-02); John Hall (NY-19); Debbie Halvorson (IL-11); Martin Heinrich (NM-01); Baron Hill (IN-09); Jim Himes (CT-04); Steve Kagen (WI-08); Paul Kanjorski (PA-11); Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15); Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01); Ron Klein (FL-22); Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24); Betsy Markey (CO-04); Jerry McNerney (CA-11); Harry Mitchell (AZ-05); Alan Mollohan (WV-01); Patrick Murphy (PA-08); Scott Murphy (NY-20); David Obey (WI-07); Bill Owens (NY-23); Ed Perlmutter (CO-07); Tom Perriello (VA-05); Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL); Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23); John Salazar (CO-03); Loretta Sanchez (CA-47); Mark Schauer (MI-07); Kurt Schrader (OR-05); Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01); John Spratt (SC-05); Bart Stupak (MI-01); Betty Sutton (OH-13); Dina Titus (NV-03); Niki Tsongas (MA-05); Tim Walz (MN-01); and David Wu (OR-01).

Higher Premiums, Limited Access: What Other Surprises Are In Store?

As Grim Consequences Emerge from Healthcare Takeover, Ohio Voters Wonder: Does Steve Driehaus Even Know What’s In the Bill?


Washington- Democrats like Steve Driehaus have been working furiously to convince voters that their healthcare takeover was not the disaster it appeared to be, but a mounting body of evidence is proving what the American people have known all along. To make matters worse, it looks like Driehaus didn’t even read the bill at all – unless he meant to strip himself and his staff of their existing healthcare coverage.


That’s right, a provision uncovered weeks after the bill passed reveals that Driehaus may have forced his own staff to lose their healthcare coverage. The New York Times raises an important question: If Driehaus didn’t know about this, did he have any idea what he was forcing upon the American people when he signed off on his party’s trillion-dollar healthcare takeover?

“In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the ‘personal health insurance coverage’ of senators, representatives and their staff members.

“For example, it says, the law may ‘remove members of Congress and Congressional staff’ from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

“The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?” (Robert Pear, “Baffled by Health Plan? So Are Some Lawmakers,” New York Times, 4/12/10)

Unfortunately for Ohio taxpayers, that’s the easy answer. The alternative is much more disturbing: Driehaus rubber-stamped his party’s healthcare agenda even though he knew it would fall woefully short of its promises:

“Public outrage over double-digit rate hikes for health insurance may have helped push President Obama’s healthcare overhaul across the finish line, but the new law does not give regulators the power to block similar increases in the future.

“And now, with some major companies already moving to boost premiums and others poised to follow suit, millions of Americans may feel an unexpected jolt in the pocketbook.” (Noam Levey, “Healthcare Overhaul Won’t Stop Premium Increases,” Los Angeles Times, 4/13/10)


And the broken promises don’t end at higher costs. With new pressures on the country’s healthcare system, a growing doctor shortage means that Americans will have a tougher time getting the care they need:


“Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.”


“A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.” (Suzanne Sataline and Shirley S. Wang, “Medical Schools Can’t Keep Up,” Wall Street Journal, 4/12/10)


“The evidence is piling up and none of it looks good for Steve Driehaus,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Ohio families were looking for lower healthcare costs and better access, but Democrats gave them the exact opposite. Did Driehaus knowingly rubber-stamp a bill that drives up premiums and limits access to doctors, or did he simply not bother to read legislation that could affect every American and cost taxpayers a trillion dollars? Either way, it’s yet another sign that Ohio families need a real representative in Washington rather than someone who blindly signs off on the radical Obama-Pelosi agenda without being honest about the consequences.”