(WASHINGTON) – In the Weekly Republican address, Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas shares the story of a woman from his state who’s been affected by the Affordable Care Act, seeing her premiums rise 85 percent because of the health law’s new coverage mandates.
“She’s now forced to pay for things she does not want and can’t afford, simply because Washington politicians and bureaucrats think they know what’s best for her and her family,” Cotton says in the address.
Read the full transcript of the Republican address:
“Hi, I’m Tom Cotton. I’m proud to represent the people of Arkansas in Congress. I’m a sixth-generation Arkansan myself, from Yell County, near Dardanelle. Arkansans are good, hard-working people. And they’re tough. Around my parts, people sometimes say we have true grit.
“Arkansans, like most Americans, have had their grit tested over the last several years through a financial collapse, recession, and a stagnant, jobless recovery. Barack Obama’s policies aren’t solving these problems – they’re causing the problem.
“President Obama’s policies spend too much money – they’ve irresponsibly added trillions of dollars to our national debt. The debt slows economic growth today and it places an immoral burden on our kids and grandkids. And the President’s policies concentrate too much power in Washington – they give more control to bossy bureaucrats, who want to run your lives, while handing out special favors and privileges to the elite and well-connected.
“There’s no better example of these failed policies than President Obama’s namesake legislation, Obamacare. This law promised to make things better – to lower costs for consumers and improve the quality of care – all the while cutting healthcare spending and saving the federal government money.
“We now know the sad reality of Obamacare: lose your insurance, lose your doctor, lose your job.
“President Obama promised you could keep your plan if you like it. That’s not true. Five million Americans face cancellations, and the President’s own estimates predict that tens of millions more will lose their plan. Many more are losing access to their family doctors, specialists, and local hospitals. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will cost the equivalent of at least two-and-a-half million full-time jobs.
“What do we get for all this pain? Obamacare will add trillions in new spending at a time of record debt. It will mean less money in workers’ paychecks or less capital for businesses to expand and grow. Less growth means less opportunity and more stress for families. And the Congressional Budget Office says we’ll still have thirty-one million uninsured in ten years – the same number President Obama used to sell the law in the first place.
“The impact of these policies is real and I’ve met people across the state with stories that show how misguided Obamacare is.
“Elizabeth, from Pulaski County, Arkansas knows this all too well. Elizabeth gets insurance through her employer, but her monthly premiums have risen eighty-five percent because of Obamacare’s new coverage mandates. She’s now forced to pay for things she does not want and can’t afford, simply because Washington politicians and bureaucrats think they know what’s best for her and her family.
“What’s worse, Obamacare isn’t just raising her premium costs. Elizabeth now takes home less total pay than she did in 2011 – and that’s after two raises and a promotion. She’s stopped shopping at locally owned businesses because she can’t afford their prices, so Obamacare is hurting her local community, too.
“For Elizabeth – and countless other Arkansans just like her – Obamacare is anything but an amazing success story. Her story shows us that this law and the President’s policies are fundamentally flawed. They’re wrong for Arkansas, and they’re wrong for America. And as a result, too many Arkansans, like people across the country, are still out of work – five years into President Obama’s economic ‘recovery.’
“Republicans in Congress are committed to stopping the harms caused by the President’s policies, repairing the damage, and getting America working again. We’re advocating reforms that trust patients and their doctors – not Washington bureaucrats. And we’re working to get spending under control. That’s because we trust you to make the right decisions for you and your family.
“Thank you for listening and have a great weekend.”
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Bradner, CNN
David Chalian, CNN