June 27, 2017
Readout: Secretary Price’s Visit to Colonial Flag Company in Sandy, Utah to Discuss Healthcare
Yesterday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., visited Colonial Flag Company in Sandy, Utah, to hear from individuals who are suffering from Obamacare. Paul Swenson of Colonial Flag Company hosted Secretary Price at a listening session with local business and community leaders on the front lines battling rising healthcare costs and disappearing choices.
Secretary Price opened his remarks with greetings from President Trump and expressed the President’s commitment to healthcare reforms that will provide access to better, more affordable healthcare for all Americans and Utahns. The Secretary noted that he and the President appreciate how dire the situation is right now.
Under Obamacare, Utahns have seen on average a 101% premium increase. In 2014, 78,530 Utah families paid $17.3 million in penalties. In 2017, 13 counties had only one insurer, and taxpayers lost $89.7 million from the collapse of a healthcare co-op. As a result of the failure of Obamacare, many attendees expressed their frustration and worry at these increasing costs and taxes.
Many individual participants echoed similar, troubling Obamacare stories, including Ms. Juanita Morales Strong of Stronger Insurance and Ms. Kathy Smith of Smith and Edwards Hardware, both of whom have experienced the disastrous effects of Obamacare on their businesses, employees, and communities.
The listening session included the following participants:
- Paul Swenson, Owner, Colonial Flag Company
- Lane Beattie, President & CEO, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
- Raymond Hall, Senior Vice President of People & Culture, LHM Group
- Kathy Smith, Owner, Smith and Edwards Hardware
- Rob J. Thurston, President, HRConsulting Group
- Dave Swenson, Owner, CMI Insulation
- Fred Lampropolous, Chairman & CEO, Merit Medical
- Brian Shiozawa, M.D., Doctor & Utah State Senator, District 8
- Marc Bennett, President & CEO, HealthInsight
- Andrew Croshaw, CEO, Leavitt Partners
- Juanita Morales Strong, Founder, Stronger Insurance
- Jonathan Johnson, CEO, Overstock.com
Following the listening session, the Secretary toured Colonial Flag Company and participated in a town hall with employees and listening session participants. The Secretary discussed the rapidly rising premiums and deductibles in the individual and small-group markets where Americans buy insurance for themselves. He noted that even with the higher prices, insurers across America are either leaving the exchanges or threatening to do so.
During a series of questions from the audience, Secretary Price expressed his support for the Better Care Reconciliation Act that the U.S. Senate is considering this week and noted that this legislation is a real, effective repeal of Obamacare that also gives states the flexibility and resources they need to design a safety-net that meets the healthcare needs of their low-income, most vulnerable citizens.
Secretary Price thanked the Utah congressional delegation for their support, particularly Senator Orrin Hatch for his incredible leadership in this effort to reform our healthcare laws and make sure states have the flexibility they need to care for their citizens.
The town hall concluded with Secretary Price expressing his support for the Senate healthcare legislation and thanking Colonial Flag Company for hosting him and allowing him to hear directly from Utah residents about their vision for a better healthcare system.