PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, December 9, 2013 – “You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts” is generally attributed to the late Senator Daniel Moynihan, but it certainly applies to President Barack Obama when he complains the GOP has not put forward a plan to resolve America’s healthcare issues.
In a recent speech Obama said, “the only alternative that Obamacare’s critics have is, well, let’s just go back to the status quo — because they sure haven’t presented an alternative.” But this simply isn’t true.
My former colleagues have always delivered free-market based solutions to resolve the healthcare issue. As a matter of fact, House Republicans, spearheaded by my former Committee on Small Business, successfully repealed the small business paperwork (“1099”) mandate: The paperwork mandate was called “one of
Six other parts of Obamacare have been successfully repealed – and yes, President Obama signed these measures.
In other words, the GOP-led House of Representatives has worked to present alternatives to improve Obamacare, and Mr. Obama agreed.
Now the House GOP has introduced H.R. 3121, The American Health Care Reform Act (AHCRA) that currently has 117 cosponsors (a majority of the House majority) and the number grows every day. The legislation meets the requirements of bipartisanship on several counts. It safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions, breaks down the state-by-state monopolies of insurance purchasing, and seeks to level the playing field between the group and individual insurance markets.
Instead of a “comprehensive” bill, which means thousands of pages that no one reads, the AHCRA is a pragmatic, practical, and common-sense approach to solving the rising cost of healthcare.
Specifically, H.R. 3121, the RSC’s American Health Care Reform Act:
- Fully repeals President Obama’s health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs. President Obama stated this past week that as long as he is president, Obamacare will not be repealed. That statement sounds more like an absolutist, not a leader seeking to govern and explore viable solutions to improve the quality of life and healthcare, for the American people. How many more Americans will have to lose their coverage before Mr. Obama casts aside his arrogance?
- Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations. Competition lowers costs and Americans need to be offered more choices and fewer mandates, which are arbitrarily delayed by the Obama administration at their whims. Americans need to be in charge of developing their own healthcare plans and not have bureaucrats or insurance commissioners decreeing what is best for them. I also believe we should incentivize healthy lifestyles by allowing unused premiums to roll over into a subsequent year, or rebates be provided. The Medical Loss Ratio mandate of Obamacare offers rebates to consumers to the detriment of many small independent insurance agencies, a lifeline for small business owners.
- Reforms medical malpractice laws in a common sense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients. If we do not institute tort reform we will not bend the cost curve of healthcare. Obamacare comes down to doctors vs lawyers in this respect, and there have been decreases in healthcare costs in states that have introduced tort reform, not to mention a strong supply of doctors.
- Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance. President Obama constantly talks about tax reform — well, he talks a lot period — but in his characterization tax reform means tax increases. Why not target this tax deduction for those hard working American middle-income families?
- Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses. Instead, Obamacare taxes HSAs.
- Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high-risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections. Even with Obamacare’s mandates many Americans with pre-existing conditions are not only losing coverage, but their doctors — so much for misspeaking.
- Protects the unborn by ensuring no federal funding of abortions, I would also add that we need to protect the religious beliefs of private sector business owners.
There are currently 20 doctors serving in 113th Congress, 17 in the House of Representatives and three in the Senate. Of the total, sixteen are Republicans and four are Democrats. There are five nurses serving in the 113th Congress, all in the House, where three are Democrats and two are Republicans.
Who do you trust to develop practical legislation on healthcare? Surely not a community organizer.
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