WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) today spoke on the Senate floor to reiterate his support for repealing and replacing Obamacare, and urged his colleagues on the other side of the aisle to end the over-the-top rhetoric that continues to leave Arizonans who have been priced out of health insurance because of skyrocketing premiums, deductibles, and copay without access to affordable care:
“Arizona has been ground zero for the failure of the Obamacare exchange. In all 15 counties [in Arizona] if you are a family of four and you are buying on the exchange you are paying more on the average for your healthcare premium than you are for your mortgage.
“We hear from the other side of the aisle that there’s no problem with Obamacare…I agree that those with preexisting have got to have access to affordable care, but when you have people on the exchange who simply cannot find affordable care, and then if they do have a policy, they can’t afford to use it because deductibles and copays are so high, we have a problem.
“The latest figures tell us that 155,000 Arizonans woke up this morning without any insurance. Most of them had insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act, but then insurance was priced out of their reach. 155,000 are paying a fine to the federal government because of their inability to find affordable insurance. They pay that fine and they still have no insurance. Now tell me that that’s not something that we have got to fix. We have got to fix that. That’s what we are responding to here.
“This notion that it’s all hunky dory, keep with the plan belies the fact that 155,000 Arizonans wake up this morning and say ‘we’re paying a fine to the federal government because we can’t find affordable care, and still we have no care.’ And we’re somehow supposed to be okay with that. Somehow we’re supposed to wait until we can find a solution for it all before we address that specific situation.
“We’ve got to fix this. People in Arizona and elsewhere are hurting, and let’s stop with the rhetoric that this is somehow a cut and that people are going to be left on the streets…I hope that we can stop the outrageous rhetoric on this and actually fix the problem. Fix the problem for Arizonans who are hurting right now.”