Murphy Votes To Punish Families For Obamacare’s Failures

Murphy Flip-Flops on Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

In response to Patrick Murphy’s vote to penalize consumers for Obamacare’s co-op failures, the Rubio campaign released the following statement:

“Patrick Murphy lied about his position on Obamacare’s individual mandate just like he lied about his resume. In 2014, he told voters that his ‘biggest fundamental fix’ to Obamacare would be delaying the individual mandate because the law ‘wasn’t ready for primetime.’ Obamacare’s co-ops have never been ‘ready for primetime,’ and their massive failures have caused hundreds of thousands of Americans’ plans to be terminated. Yesterday, Murphy broke his commitment to protect families from Obamacare’s individual mandate by voting to penalize them for losing their plans at no fault of their own. Murphy’s liberal policies don’t work, and Florida families can’t afford them.” – Michael Ahrens, Rubio spokesman

Yesterday, Patrick Murphy voted against temporarily exempting individuals from the individual mandate if their Obamacare co-op failed

On September 27, 2016, Patrick Murphy voted against H.R. 954, the Co-Op Consumer Protection Act. “This bill temporarily exempts from penalties for failing to purchase and maintain minimum essential health care coverage individuals whose coverage under a plan offered by a qualified nonprofit health insurance issuer receiving funds through the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program was terminated or otherwise discontinued.” (H.R. 954, Roll Call Vote #563: R: 242-0, D: 16-165, Passed 258-165, Murphy Voted Nay, 9/27/16; H.R. 954, Library Of Congress, Passed House 9/27/16)

The legislation would exempt individuals from Obamacare’s individual mandate if they had been receiving healthcare coverage from an Obamacare co-op that failed mid-year. “The House on Wednesday will consider a bill that would exempt people who lost their insurance coverage because a co-op closed from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. The measure seeks to help consumers of three co-op insurance plans who have had their coverage interrupted this year because the co-op through which they purchased insurance failed mid-year. The Ways and Means Committee approved the measure by voice vote earlier this month Republicans say people whose coverage is stopped because their insurer closes their doors shouldn’t be fined for not having coverage the rest of that year.” (Morning Consult, 9/26/16)

There was “bipartisan agreement” that Congress should act to ensure consumers were not punished as a result of a failed co-op. “There was some bipartisan agreement during the markup that Congress might want to ensure that customers whose insurance is interrupted because of a co-op closure should not have to start over paying their deductibles mid-year.” (Morning Consult, 9/26/16)

17 Obamacare co-ops have failed, with only 6 of the original 23 co-ops remaining

The Hill: “Frustration mounts over ObamaCare co-op failures.” “A new wave of failures among ObamaCare’s nonprofit health insurers is disrupting coverage for thousands of enrollees and raising questions about whether regulators could have acted earlier to head off some of the problems. Four ObamaCare co-ops have failed due to financial problems since the beginning of the year, the latest trouble for the struggling program. The co-ops were set up under ObamaCare to increase competition with established insurers, but just seven of the original 23 co-ops now remain.” (The Hill, 8/1/16)

The co-ops are failing because they “took on far too many customers at artificially low premiums.” To date, more than half a million Americans have lost coverage thanks to the failure of these co-ops. The reason? The co-ops took on far too many customers at artificially low premiums, and, as the American Enterprise Institute and the Galen Institute noted earlier this year, are drawing down ‘unspent loan funds to pay medical claims.’ Despite mounting failures, the Obama administration has been unwilling to change course. Politico Pro has reported that state and federal regulators let some of the co-ops ‘reclassify certain loans as surplus, a move that financial analysts say will make the health plans’ balance sheets look better and potentially keep them from shutting down.’ In other words, to hide their debts and project false solvency—until they, too, go under.” (Rep. Adrian Smith, Op-Ed, “ObamaCare’s Cascading Co-op Failures, The Wall Street Journal, 11/2/15)

At least 500,000 people have lost coverage as Obamacare’s co-ops have collapsed.”
More than 500,000 people have lost coverage as plans crashed after charging artificially low premiums.” (Rep. Adrian Smith, Op-Ed, “ObamaCare’s Cascading Co-op Failures, The Wall Street Journal, 11/2/15)

According to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the failed co-ops have cost taxpayers over $1.8 billion. “In all, failed co-ops have now cost taxpayers more than $1.8 billion in funds that may never be recovered. Co-ops were hyped as not-for-profit alternatives to traditional insurance companies created under Obamacare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) financed co-ops with startup and solvency loans, totaling more than $2.4 billion in taxpayer dollars. They have failed to become sustainable with many collapsing amid the failure of Obamacare exchanges. … TOTAL TAXPAYER DOLLARS: $1,820,114,940.” (Americans for Tax Reform, 9/13/16; House Energy & Commerce Committee, 7/11/16)

But during his 2014 Congressional campaign, Patrick Murphy championed a delay of the individual mandate in Obamacare

VIDEO: Murphy said that because Obamacare “was not ready for primetime,” he supported “a delay of that mandate.” MODERATOR: “And I certainly know that health care, you both grind your teeth, as do I. It’s so complicated we’re not going to cover it in a half-hour or days. But your response, if you so choose, to Mr. Domino’s arguments. You say you would not repeal it, but you’ve talked about delaying implementation of it. So you’re not happy with all of it. Clarify where you stand.” MURPHY: “I actually love that analogy that he just used of fixing the leak in the house. Under his plan, he would go tear down the house and get rid of the Affordable Care Act. I believe you should fix the leak. So I’ve actually supported 18 different pieces of legislation to improve the Affordable Care Act. One of those was a delay of that mandate, because as we saw.”MODERATOR: “Which mandate?” MURPHY: “The individual and the business mandate. We saw that this plan was not ready for prime time, so I supported that delay.” MODERATOR: “So why did we have a plan if it wasn’t ready for prime time?” MURPHY: “The actual roll-out was not ready.” MODERATOR: “So beyond mandates, and rolling those back by, I believe until 2015, what else would you do to fundamentally fix the Affordable Care Act. Which so many people, including doctors who I talk to all the time, say they’re running away from it, they don’t feel it’s going to do enough. I talk to doctors all the time concerned about it. There’s been an issue about signup. There was the famous pledge: If you like your insurance, you can keep it” made by President Obama, which he had to retract.” MURPHY: “Perfect segue, I actually supported legislation that said just that—if you like your plan, you can keep it. You know, I was in the minority of my party voting for that.” (WPTV’s “To The Point With Michael Williams,” 10/26/14) (Min. 13:30-15:18)

  • When asked specifically what his “biggest fundamental fix” for Obamacare would be, Murphy pointed to “delaying the mandate to make sure this thing was right.”MODERATOR: “Is the Affordable Care Act such damaged goods in many political circles that it should be repealed and start over with something simpler?” MURPHY: “You see this is the problem, Mike. With so many different issues, and the Affordable Care Act is perfect. My opponents going to go to D.C., theoretically, under what he’s saying here and be part of the problem. Because you have two groups of people. You have one group saying ‘It’s completely broken, just get rid of the whole thing.’ Another group saying ‘It’s perfect, don’t touch it.’ It’s somewhere in the middle.” MODERATOR: “My producers taking us to break. Your biggest fundamental fix and then you’ll have the closing word.” MURPHY: “I would say delaying the mandate to make sure this thing was right.” (WPTV’s “To The Point With Michael Williams,” 10/26/14) (Min. 13:30-15:18)

Now Patrick Murphy wants to expand Obamacare by adding a public option

Florida Politics: “Patrick Murphy says he’ll push for public option to be added to ACA if elected to the Senate.” “Patrick Murphy says if he is elected to the U.S. Senate in November, he’ll push to provide a public option to the Affordable Care Act. ‘At least in rural areas, where you don’t have much competition,’ the Jupiter Representative and Senate Democratic hopeful said on while making a campaign stop on Monday morning in West Tampa. He said that would be an added option for people on the ACA, ‘and beyond that, to make sure that there is competition ultimately.’”(Mitch Perry, “Patrick Murphy Says He’ll Push For Public Option To Be Added To ACA If Elected To The Senate,” Florida Politics, 8/29/16)

In 2012, Murphy promised that Obamacare would “create more competition and help bring down costs”

VIDEO: In 2012, Murphy said state exchanges would “help to bring down costs” by creating more competition, because “long term, it’s all about costs.” MURPHY: “There is no more lifetime caps and the part that I especially like, are the state exchanges that are created now. There is more openness, more transparency that in each state, whether you are a business or an individual, you can go buy your insurance, and see what exactly the plan offers. This will create more competition and help to bring down costs. Long term, it’s all about costs. It’s all about preventative treatments, getting people treated earlier and that is a big part of ObamaCare. That is a big part of the Affordable Care Act, is making sure people can go to the doctor, get their annual check-ups and identify diseases, whatever it is, diabetes, early on to make sure they prevent it becoming a much bigger problem.” (League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum 10/4/12)

But the latest headlines have been disastrous for both Obamacare and Florida’s families

Earlier this month, Aetna announced it would stop selling individual Obamacare plans next year in 11 of the 15 states where it had been participating in the marketplace. “Health insurer Aetna Inc. will stop selling individual Obamacare plans next year in 11 of the 15 states where it had been participating in the program, joining other major insurers who’ve pulled out of the government-run markets in the face of mounting losses. … Here’s a full list of the states Aetna is exiting: Arizona; Kentucky; Pennsylvania; Florida; Missouri; South Carolina; Georgia; North Carolina; Texas; Illinois; Ohio.” (Zachary Tracer, “Aetna To Quit Most Obamacare Markets, Joining Major Rivals,” Bloomberg, 8/15/16)

Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Humana’s announcements mean “fewer choices” and “higher premiums and/or lower benefits.” “Earlier this month, health care giant Aetna announced that it had lost more than four hundred million dollars on Obamacare policies since the Obamacareexchanges were set up, in 2014, and was going to pull out of most of them, including in Florida. That followed similar announcements made by United Healthcare and Humana. Which means fewer choices for those on the ACA. Lack of competition means higher premiums and/or lower benefits.  A public option would be a federal option open to anyone on the individual market, and Murphy said he’d push for it if elected in November. Hillary Clinton has made similar comments on the campaign trail.” (Mitch Perry, “Patrick Murphy Says He’ll Push For Public Option To Be Added To ACA If Elected To The Senate,” Florida Politics, 8/29/16)

“The decision by Aetna is the latest blow to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy law.” “The decision by Aetna is the latest blow to President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy law. While it has brought coverage to millions, the new markets have proven volatile for some of the largest for-profit insurers, and UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc. are also pulling out, after posting hundreds of millions of dollars of their own losses. Aetna said earlier this year that it expects to lose $300 million on the plans.” (Zachary Tracer, “Aetna To Quit Most ObamacareMarkets, Joining Major Rivals,” Bloomberg, 8/15/16)

It “raises the prospect that some consumers will only have one insurer to choose from when they buy 2017 coverage.” “Next year will be the law’s fourth of providing coverage under the new markets. Aetna’s decision doesn’t affect people covered by the company this year, but when they look for 2017 coverage, they’ll need to pick a new insurer. The decision raises the prospect that some consumers will only have one insurer to choose from when they buy 2017 coverage.” (Zachary Tracer, “Aetna To Quit Most Obamacare Markets, Joining Major Rivals,” Bloomberg, 8/15/16)

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