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COLUMN: A Better Way for Healthcare

July 11, 2016
Weekly Column and Op-Ed

Imagine a national health care system that works for the people who require care: patients who are able to schedule appointments and be seen by a doctor of their choice for high-quality, life-saving care that does not break the bank. That kind of patient-centered system would improve the quality of life for Americans, who want nothing more than choice, affordable care, and successful outcomes for their families.

Americans know that our current health care system does not provide that kind of service. The system is not working as it should, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not been the fix that was promised. The government-centered approach has driven up costs and premiums for individuals, families, and businesses. The mass of the ACA’s regulations and mandates has created a complicated web that translates to limited choices, expensive plans, and a top-down, one-size-fits-all system. Americans feel trapped instead of in charge of their healthcare.

Quality health care is too important a goal to maintain the status quo. I voted to repeal Obamacare because we know that we need to replace it with a better solution that provides Americans with more choices, lower costs, and greater flexibility. House Republicans are proposing to improve delivery of health care by offering reforms that do not simply revert to a pre-Obamacare status quo, but make lasting, patient-centered changes.

The House Republicans' proposal continues to protect those with pre-existing conditions. It allows consumers and small businesses to increase their purchasing power by joining together to lower costs. Our plan would allow insurance to be sold across state lines to increase choice and competition in a market-based system. While we protect and preserve Medicare for those who are counting on it, our plan would also strengthen Medicare for future generations. Our plan would also encourage consumer-driven healthcare by expanding health savings accounts. These are just some of the solutions House Republicans are proposing to fix what is not working under the ACA. You can read more for yourself by going online and checking out https://abetterway.speaker.gov.

Not only is the ACA replacement necessary to improve our health system, but it is critical to restore accountability and transparency in government. A report just last week by the House Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce committees found that the Obama Administration spent seven billion dollars, without proper congressional authority, to fund provisions in the ACA. The administration even went through "great lengths" to block congressional investigation of the unauthorized spending. This blatant executive overreach is unacceptable, and it is a symptom of the waived deadlines, stretched rules, and constitutional breaches associated with the president's health care law.

It has never been enough to simply repeal Obamacare because the status quo was also unacceptable. House Republicans kept our promise to vote to repeal Obamacare, and part of that promise is to replace it with solutions that empower individual Americans with their health care.