Rep. Poliquin’s Statement on the House Vote on the American Health Care Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) released the following statement:
“In the last 48 hours my father suffered a stroke and I had to rush back home from Washington to help him. My own son has an asthma condition—a pre-existing condition. I've seen health care up close. We need to do the best job we possibly can when it comes to health care so Maine people get the care they need,” said Congressman Poliquin.
“I have studied this health care issue carefully with one thing in mind: the People of Maine. I do not work for the Democrats, Republicans, or Washington bosses—I work only for the People of Maine and my focus has been solely on the Maine people.
“Maine is in a unique position in this debate. Many people may not know that Maine, and specifically our own bipartisan health reforms at the State Legislature, have become the core model of this new health care legislation, which includes some of Maine's models for welfare reforms as well.
“With bipartisan Maine reforms at the center of this new bill, and with Maine having ensured essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions are covered under state laws, I have decided to vote yes on this health care legislation.
“Under Maine's 2011 bipartisan reforms, those with pre-existing conditions were covered at the same cost as everyone else, with guaranteed coverage. Maine also ensures EHB’s, essential benefits, are always in place through a series of laws confirmed by Maine's Superintendent of Insurance. I am confident that even if Maine State Government sought a waiver not only would Maine people have essential benefits but pre-existing conditions would fully covered. Our state has already proven it—and our state has proven it can dramatically lower some health insurance premiums and stem the tide of rising costs with its reforms. It has worked in Maine.
“I expect the U.S. Senate to make further changes to this bill as it moves on from the House and I welcome those changes. I hope it comes back stronger and better. This simply moves this issue on to the Senate.
“ObamaCare is failing, and Congress must act to rescue American families.
“We were told, under ObamaCare, if we like our health insurance plan and doctor, we could keep them. We were also told the cost of insurance would drop by about $2,500 per year. Tens of thousands of Mainers switched from their plan at work or were forced to get ObamaCare policies.
“However, the monthly premiums and annual deductibles for these ObamaCare policyholders have skyrocketed. And, premiums—right here in Maine—are going up another 14-26% this year. Families are paying a fortune and sometimes never even using their ObamaCare coverage, because deductibles are so high. Instead, they oftentimes choose to pay a fine to the IRS rather than accept an ObamaCare plan.
“There are only three insurance providers which offer ObamaCare policies in Maine. One of them, Community Health Options in Lewiston lost $58 million last year. Recently, Anthem announced it would stop offering Maine ObamaCare policies in January if the failing law isn’t changed.
“ObamaCare is failing. We must work to fix this dire situation.
“There are powerful special interest groups in Augusta and Washington trying to scare us into doing nothing. They say if we change the imploding ObamaCare law, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.
“Families are already losing coverage because their plans have been cancelled by insurance providers. The special interests say those approaching retirement and the poor won’t be able to afford health insurance if ObamaCare is changed. That’s not true. They can’t afford it now due to high deductibles and increasing premiums.
“If the few providers in Maine offering ObamaCare go under or pull out due to continued massive financial losses, we will have no ObamaCare policies in Maine at all. That is not acceptable.
“I was elected to Congress to fix our serious problems. That’s exactly what I’m doing. If we don’t fix this ObamaCare problem, it’s going to get worse.
“In Congress, I will continue to push hard to find important solutions to the dire health care problems and challenges for Mainers. ObamaCare is failing and Congress must act to fix it.”