As a physician, I’ve spent my career fighting for patients and in Congress, I’ve done the same. We can turn America’s healthcare system around with common-sense patient-centered solutions.
Americans deserve an accessible and affordable health care system that promotes quality care and peace of mind. It should empower patients and support innovation. Sadly, that is not the system we have today. Obamacare has limited choices for patients, driven up costs for consumers, and buried employers and health care providers under thousands of new regulations. It forced people into expensive plans they did not want and put the government in charge of one of the most personal decisions families will ever make.
House Republicans know there is a better way.
Republicans have put forward ideas ranging from complete alternatives to targeted, issue-specific proposals. Over the summer, we put together a plan that unites these efforts under one complete vision that successfully reforms America’s health care system. It recognizes that health care today is a wholly integrated system, consisting of providers, insurers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and others working to deliver the best quality care. Our proposal embraces this reality but also recognizes that people must come first. A health care system is only as good as its service of the patients who rely on it.
You can find more specifics on our plan by visiting better.gop or by clicking here.
Last year, I worked with my colleagues to help pass the first real entitlement reform in over a decade that improved access to Medicare for our nation’s seniors. We replaced an outdated payment formula for Medicare physicians, called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which was put in place by Washington, D.C. and limited seniors’ access to care. Thankfully, with broad bipartisan support, we were able to pass this fix and it was signed into law. For more information on the SGR repeal, click here.
Last year I also helped to craft and pass landmark legislation to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of life-saving and life-improving treatments for the nearly 10,000 diseases without known cures. H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, is the product of more than two dozen roundtables and listening sessions across the country over the past year and has garnered widespread support amongst doctors, patients, experts, advocates, and medical innovators. This is one of the most important initiatives I’ve been a part of since coming to Congress. To find out more, click here.
Real Reforms to Lower Healthcare Costs, Provide Better Care and Protect Jobs
Americans want a step-by-step, common-sense approach to healthcare reform. As a physician who has cared for patients my entire career, regardless of their ability to pay, I want to make sure every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare. We can accomplish this goal with private-sector, patient-centered solutions, instead of the failed one-size-fits-all, government-centered approach we have with the ObamaCare. That starts with repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
Republicans have promoted healthcare reforms that will lower healthcare premiums for families and small businesses, increase access to affordable, high-quality care, and promote healthier lifestyles – without adding to the crushing debt Washington has placed on future generations.
Contrary to the rhetoric in Washington, Republicans in Congress have offered real solutions as alternatives to the ObamaCare. Unfortunately, during the debate, our ideas were ignored despite our best efforts.
Here is a list of key elements that Republicans have offered or support to fix our nation’s ailing healthcare system. This is not an exhaustive list of all health reform proposals, but it is a good start.
- Price Transparency. Our current healthcare system is essentially a price-fixed market where the consumer just doesn’t have access to information regarding costs. As consumers, the American people should know the true cost of the care they receive. Much like buying a car or other product, when consumers can compare prices, they are better equipped to make decisions that are in their best interests. Price transparency also helps promote competition within the healthcare market, which helps drive down costs.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions and a new continuous coverage protection.
- Allowing dependent children up to age 26 to stay on parents’ plan.
- Protecting patients’ and physicians’ rights of conscience.
- Lowering healthcare premiums. We need solutions that will lower healthcare premiums for American families and small businesses and address Americans’ number-one priority for healthcare reform. Lower premiums are a result of financing state-based reforms that lower premiums, ending junk lawsuits, and increasing competition and access to insurance products for small businesses and individuals.
- Equalize tax treatment for Americans buying coverage on their own.
- Establishing Universal Access Programs to guarantee access to affordable care for those with pre-existing conditions. GOP proposals create Universal Access Programs that expand and reform high-risk pools and reinsurance programs to guarantee that all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses, have access to affordable care – while lowering costs for all Americans.
- Ending junk lawsuits. We can end costly junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine by enacting medical liability reforms.
- Prevents insurers from unjustly cancelling a policy or instituting lifetime spending caps. GOP proposals prohibit an insurer from cancelling a policy unless a person commits fraud or conceals material facts about a health condition. GOP proposals also make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition. The proposals also prohibit insurance plans from instituting lifetime spending limits.
- Encouraging Small Business Health Plans. GOP proposals give small businesses the power to pool together and offer healthcare at lower prices, just as corporations and labor unions do.
- Encouraging innovative state programs. GOP proposals reward innovation by providing incentive payments to states that reduce premiums and the number of uninsured.
- Promoting privately-run health care exchanges.
- Modernizing Medicaid to create a strong safety net, protect the most vulnerable, and allow people access to quality health insurance and private plans if they choose.
- Allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines. GOP proposals allow Americans to shop for coverage from coast to coast by allowing Americans living in one state to purchase insurance in another.
- Promoting healthier lifestyles. GOP proposals promote prevention & wellness by giving employers greater flexibility to financially reward employees who adopt healthier lifestyles.
- Enhancing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). GOP proposals create new incentives to save for future and long-term care needs by allowing qualified participants to use HSAs to pay premiums.
- Reauthorizing and funding state high risk pools.
Legislation I support as an alternative to the ObamaCare:
I am a proud cosponsor of the “Empowering Patients First Act” (H.R. 2300), introduced by Rep. Tom Price, which would permanently repeal President Obama’s healthcare law and replace it with patient-centered solutions. For more information on H.R. 2300, click here.
I am also a cosponsor of the Republican Study Committee’s bill, “The American Healthcare Reform Act,” a pragmatic, practical, and portable free-market alternative to the current healthcare system. Specifically, the bill repeals ObamaCare, allows Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and businesses to pool, expands health savings accounts, and institutes other meaningful reforms that reduces the cost of healthcare. For more information click here.
What has already been done regarding ObamaCare since I've been in office:
- The House has led to get nine ObamaCare provisions repealed/funding rescinded through legislation passed in by Congress and signed into law by President Obama:
- H.R. 4: Repealed the small business paperwork (“1099”) mandate. Signed by President Obama on April 14, 2011.
- H.R. 1473: Cut $2.2 billion from CO-OPs (a “stealth public plan”), froze the IRS budget for ObamaCare enforcement and eliminated a provision that would have weakened the employer-provided insurance system. Signed by President Obama on April 15, 2011.
- H.R. 674: Saved taxpayers $13 billion by adjusting eligibility for ObamaCare programs. Signed by President Obama on November 21, 2011.
- H.R. 2055: Made more cuts to CO-OPs, IPAB, and IRS. Signed by President Obama on December 23, 2011.
- H.R. 3630: Slashed billions from ObamaCare slush funds. Signed by President Obama on February 22, 2012.
- H.R. 4348: Saved $670 million from the “Louisiana Purchase.” Signed by President Obama on July 6, 2012.
- H.R. 8: Repealed the unsustainable CLASS program and eliminated remaining CO-OP funds. Signed by President Obama on January 2, 2013.
- H.R. 2775: Required the Secretary of HHS to certify to Congress that exchanges verify eligibility for tax credits and required HHS Inspector General to report on the effectiveness of the verification system. Signed by President Obama on October 17, 2013.
- H.R. 4302: Repealed ObamaCare’s limitation on deductibles for small group health plans. Signed by President Obama on April 1, 2014.
Legislation passed by the House, but stalled by Congressional Democrats and the President:
- Under the Republican majority, the House has passed 61 bills that would give Americans relief from ObamaCare, protect taxpayers, lower costs, increase jobs, and provide more choice. Unfortunately, the Democrats and the President have blocked these measures. The common -sense bills that Republicans are offering include:
- Full repeal of ObamaCare (H.R. 2, H. Con Res. 112, H.R. 6079, H. Con. Res. 25, H.R. 45, H. Con. Res 96)
- Repeal and/or delay the individual mandate (H.R. 2668, Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, H.R. 4118, H.R. 4015)
- Delay the employer mandate (H.R. 2667)
- Restore the 40-hour definition of full-time work (H.R. 2575, H.R. 4)
- Allow individuals to keep pre-ObamaCare health plans (H.R. 3350)
- Allow small and large businesses and their employees to keep pre-ObamaCare plans (H.R. 3522)
- Repeal IPAB (H.R. 5; H.R. 1190)
- Protect volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders from the employer mandate (H.R. 3979)
- Protect veterans from the employer mandate (H.R. 3474, H.R 4)
- Expand the religious exemption from the individual mandate (H.R. 1814)
- Repeal the job-killing medical device tax (H.R. 436, Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, H.R. 4, H.R. 150)
- Repeal the prohibition on use of FSA/HSA funds to purchase over-the-counter medicines (H.R. 436)
- Prohibit the use of IRS funds to implement or enforce provisions of ObamaCare (H.R. 2009)