I believe Americans deserve to have complete control over their health care decisions, providers, and policies. I have consistently fought to defeat the President’s healthcare law, from the time it came through the Education and Workforce Committee, to passage on the House floor. I believe that Obamacare was a misguided attempt to reform our nation’s healthcare system. There are much more sensible ways to give Americans the healthcare that they deserve.
The President's Health Care Mandate
Since the Democrat’s new health law was signed by the President last year, it has failed to lower costs of rising health care premiums. While this new law raises taxes immediately, there is no new coverage for most people with preexisting conditions until 2014. Also, at a time when our state governments are facing significant budget deficits, this healthcare law significantly expands Medicaid eligibility with an estimated sixteen million Americans who weren’t eligible before. This growing entitlement will put a crushing burden on our state governments. Furthermore, according to some estimates, as many as 80% of small business owners would have to cancel their employees current health coverage if the law remains in place. Coupled with an employer mandate provision, the law would force many small business owners to lay off their employees.
Because of this, the first item of business for the new Republican Majority in the 112th Congress was repealing Obamacare by way of H.R. 2. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, repealing the bill will save the taxpayers an estimated $500 billion. In addition, my colleagues and I passed HRES 9, which is a resolution instructing committees to draft new legislation to replace the Democrat healthcare law with new legislation that would improve access to quality of care for all Americans, because I recognize that the system is in need of reform.
I strongly believe that every one of my constituents deserves access to affordable, quality, and portable health insurance. I also believe individuals with pre-existing conditions should not be denied coverage. By repealing the President’s bill, we can begin from a clean slate to create new health care legislation that protects seniors, improves access of care, and does not bankrupt the country. Not only will these savings put more money back in the pockets of the American people, these savings will allow small business owners to create jobs instead of having to lay off their workforce.
Strengthening Health and Retirement Security
The future of the nation’s health and retirement security programs is increasingly based on empty promises from a government unwilling to advance solutions that save and strengthen them. The Path To Prosperity Budget passed in the Houses trengthens health and retirement security by taking power away from government bureaucrats and empowering patients with control over their care.
This budget repeals the new health care law’s unaccountable board of bureaucrats empowered to cut Medicare in ways that would raise costs and jeopardize seniors’ access to care.
This budget saves Medicare for current and future generations, with no disruptions for those in and near retirement.
For younger workers, when they become eligible, Medicare will provide a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options – including a traditional fee-for-service option – from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits their needs.
Program growth would be determined by a competitive bidding process – with choice and competition forcing providers to reduce costs and improve quality for seniors.
Premium support, competitive bidding, and more assistance for those with lower incomes or greater health care needs will ensure guaranteed affordability for all seniors.
This budget also establishes a mechanism that requires action by the President and leaders in Congress to shore up Social Security’s fiscal imbalance.
What Else Can Be Done?
In the Republican Pledge to America, I promised to do the following:
Enact Medical Liability Reform. Skyrocketing medical liability insurance rates have distorted the practice of medicine, routinely forcing doctors to order costly and often unnecessary tests to protect themselves from lawsuits, often referred to as "defensive medicine." We will enact common-sense medical liability reforms to lower costs, rein in junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine.
Purchase Health Insurance Across State Lines. Americans residing in a state with expensive health insurance plans are locked into those plans and do not currently have an opportunity to choose a lower cost option that best meets their needs. We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live.
Expand Health Savings Accounts. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide cost-effective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. We will improve HSAs by making it easier for patients with high-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We will repeal the new health care law, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.
Ensure Access for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions. Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage. We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick. We will incentivize states to develop innovative programs that lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.
Permanently Prohibit Taxpayer Funding of Abortion. We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion. This prohibition would go further and enact into law what is known as the Hyde Amendment as well as ban other instances of federal subsidies for abortion services. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.
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