In 2010, the Democrat-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Not only was the legislation not geared at protecting patients, but, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it is extremely unaffordable. Unlike the president’s unworkable law, I support true, fundamental healthcare reform that expands access to healthcare and increases affordability without sacrificing quality. I have voted more than 60 times to repeal all or part of the flawed legislation and have supported a serious alternative offered by the Republican Study Committee.
PPACA or "Obamacare"
PPACA is a trillion dollar government takeover of our healthcare system paid for by higher taxes on small businesses and deep cuts to Medicare. Unfortunately, it has created a system that limits a patient's right to choose what doctor they see and even what type of care they receive. It hurts small businesses, senior citizens and anyone who was happy with their current health coverage. Obamacare has imposed a massive and confusing bureaucracy into an already bureaucratic system by adding numerous additional offices, bureaus, commissions and programs above and beyond the entitlement expansions.
Recognizing the flaws in this legislation, Congress has worked with the President to repeal some of the most onerous requirements originally included in Obamacare. For example, Congress repealed a mandate that would have required businesses to report to the IRS all of their transactions with vendors totaling $600 or more in a year. In addition, Congress passed the Protective Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act to protect businesses with 51-100 employees from ACA rules that would have led to premium increases of 18 percent. Since its enactment, more than 70 changes have been made to this flawed law, which underscores the need for its immediate repeal and replacement.
Instead of a massive government takeover of our healthcare system, a number of steps can be taken to make quality health care coverage affordable and accessible for all Americans, ensure that medical decisions are made by patients and their doctors—not bureaucrats—and give all Americans the freedom to choose a health plan that best meets their needs. These include, among others:
- Comprehensive Tort Reform: Because no cap exists on damages, doctors run unnecessary and costly tests out of fear that they will be sued for malpractice. These extra tests, along with the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance serve to increase to cost to provide healthcare across the entire spectrum. I support legislation that would limit non-economic and punitive damages, except in the case where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a person acted with malicious intent or deliberately failed to avoid unnecessary injury.
- Increased Competition: I believe that allowing insurance providers to compete for business across state lines leads to lower healthcare costs and increased quality. Unfortunately, by segmenting the population into 50 different pools, premiums will be higher.
- Prevent Waste, Fraud and Abuse: Waste, fraud and abuse cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year. By providing the resources necessary to combat waste, fraud and abuse, we can lower the cost of healthcare for everyone.
- Association Health Plans: One of the largest obstacles for many small businesses is the cost of health insurance. By allowing states, small businesses, associations and other organizations to band together, health insurance can be offered at a lower cost.
More on Healthcare
For nearly eight years Republicans have made repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, one of the central tenets of their campaign. President Trump also made repealing the ACA central to his campaign. During that time, Democrats lost over 900 state legislative seats, 12 governors, 69 U.S. House seats, 13 senate seats and the White House. The recent passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was the first step in making good on that promise.