The sign-up period for next year’s ObamaCare plans is underway. Phone calls and e-mails are flooding in from angry constituents over how unaffordable health insurance is now for families and small businesses.
In Crockett, for example, Joni’s health insurance costs next year will rise by over 70 percent, costing an additional $3,300 in monthly premiums on top of a $6,500 deductible.
For a small business person raising her grandchildren, this is simply not affordable. And her example is not the worst! Increases in Affordable Care Act plan costs are accelerating, with no end in sight.
As insurance companies like UnitedHealth Group, BlueCross BlueShield, and Aetna flee government-run exchanges, Texans and many Americans are facing fewer options at shockingly higher costs.
Next year, most Texans will be forced to pay an average of 42 percent higher premiums than they paid this year for ACA health insurance. The alternative for families who cannot afford this overpriced, limited-coverage health care: pay a penalty to the IRS.
ObamaCare supporters in Congress and the White House assure Americans “Don’t worry, other taxpayers will subsidize you more” for these higher monthly premiums. But who ends up paying the higher deductibles that can easily exceed $10,000 or more a year? It is you, of course. Instead of just more ObamaCare, Americans deserve a patient-centered health care system that delivers affordable, quality options, and that’s exactly what House Republicans have developed in our Better Way solutions you can review at waysandmeans.house.gov/healthcarereform.
My family and I never moved to Washington. We live here in Texas and I commute to work in Congress each week. That keeps me grounded, and I hear more from my constituents about the real-life challenges they face. For the past few years they’ve told me how many suspicious calls they now get from someone supposedly with Internal Revenue Service – which sounds to them like a scam. And they are right. Nearly two million people have reported scammers calling claiming to be the IRS. Sadly, nearly 10,000 were tricked, and collectively lost millions of dollars. One victim even paid over $130,000 of their hard-earned dollars believing they had no choice but to pay the IRS. Finally steps are being taken by the government to bring to justice these scammers who stole from innocent taxpayers. More than five dozen individuals have now been charged in a federal court here in Texas. This is the result of a broad investigation that includes federal investigators, local Texas sheriffs, district and county attorneys, police departments and sheriffs’ departments across the country. Know this: the IRS will never call you to make arrest or imprisonment threats - or offer short-term loans or grants with a “good-faith deposit” and processing fee. Nor will they take iTunes cards for payment of taxes, fees or penalties. If you believe you may be the victim of fraudulent IRS activity, report it now to the IRS or to our office.
U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady chairs the House Ways and Means Committee.