“Hello. I’m Thad Cochran, United States Senator for Mississippi.
“The beginning of the New Year is a time when many Americans decide to make positive changes in their lives. It can be a time we decide to adopt healthier lifestyles or take a fresh look at the family budget.
“Unfortunately, as this year begins many people are worried about how the so-called Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare,’ is affecting both their health and personal finances.
“Republicans in the Senate think we should repeal or defund the program because of its cost and complexity.
“The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be fully operational by January 1 of this year. But, here we are two weeks into 2014, and the administration continues to struggle to implement the law’s burdensome mandates.
“The law is not living up to the promises made by its supporters, and it is questionable whether the law will meet its fundamental purpose — to significantly expand health insurance coverage. Five million Americans have been kicked out of the health plans that they liked and were promised they could keep.
“Some of my constituents have discovered that the new insurance can cost twice as much as they had been paying. Many others are being denied access to doctors with whom they were perfectly happy.
“The administration’s enrollment numbers don’t paint a pretty picture. They don’t tell us how many of the enrollees have actually lost existing coverage and were forced into the exchanges; and the numbers don’t tell us whether applicants have actually paid their premiums and received coverage. There is ample reason to be skeptical that those numbers will improve substantially.
“If the law can’t keep its most basic promise, it should be repealed, and we’ve introduced legislation to do just that.
“We should go back to the drawing board and draft commonsense, bipartisan legislation that will work better for all Americans, without spending billions of taxpayer dollars to support these failing policies.
“In the spirit of the New Year, we should resolve to help make our health care system more user-friendly and affordable.