Full remarks of the Weekly GOP Address given by Rep. Bill Johnson on March 15, 2014:
My name is Bill Johnson, and I'm proud to represent Eastern and Southeastern Ohio in the House of Representatives.
Four years ago today, President Obama came to our state and promised our seniors that his health care law would protect their benefits. He said this:
"If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. I don't want to interfere with people's relationships between them and their doctors."
Now, the reality is, that not only is the president's health care law interfering with these relationships -- it's ending them altogether.
Because of Obama Care, many seniors enrolled in the popular Medicare Advantage program are paying higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Many are losing access to their physicians.
And many more will, unless the president takes action.
Last month, Republican leaders wrote a letter to the president asking him to develop a plan to deal with these problems. Nothing was done.
In our weekly address, we urged him to listen to stories of seniors in Florida paying more money for fewer choices, less access, and far less peace of mind. Still nothing.
Just this week, a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 members of the House and Senate came together to press the Obama administration on this issue.
Because this transcends politics. This is about keeping the promises we make to the American people.
In January, I sat down with a group of local doctors to talk about all this. One told me that many seniors in our area who need to see a specialist will now have to drive up to Cleveland or Pittsburgh to receive care. Another cited hundreds of cases in which patients were blindsided by these changes.
And last month, I received a note from a cancer survivor in Poland, Ohio who said that, because of the health care law, she and her husband are losing the eye doctor they've been going to for nearly 30 years. Here's what she had to say:
"We have always taken care of ourselves. We had four children, took care of their education, and never asked for handouts. Now, we are older, and we have to be concerned about not having the doctors and services we like and will need."
Remember how the president said he didn't want to interfere in these relationships?
More than 794,000 seniors in Ohio rely on Medicare Advantage.
That's hundreds of thousands of broken promises in waiting ... in just one state.
Older Americans deserve better. They deserve the benefits they were promised.
If the president won't help us repeal this law in its entirety, he ought to step up here, do the right thing, and protect our seniors.
And he ought to do this soon.