WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 7, 2017
For years, Americans across the country have struggled under a government takeover of health care. Because of Obamacare, insurance markets are collapsing, health care costs are soaring, and patients’ choices are dwindling. Simply put, the flawed health care law is failing. It is hurting hardworking men and women across the country, and the American people deserve better.
That’s why Republicans promised to deliver the health care solutions Americans desperately need. This week, we are making good on that promise and moving forward with an effort that will provide a better way on health care.
After a thoughtful and collaborative process, members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee recently unveiled a legislative plan that will repeal and replace Obamacare. The plan, the American Health Care Act, includes a number of positive, commonsense reforms that will help create more choices, lower costs, and give control back to individuals and families.
These reforms will create a new and innovative fund giving states the flexibility they need to design programs that fit the needs of their communities. They will responsibly unwind Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in a way that protects patients and strengthens the program for future generations.
The plan will also dismantle Obamacare taxes and mandates — including the individual and employer mandate penalties and taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, health insurance premiums, and medical devices. It will expand Health Savings Accounts to empower individuals and families to spend their health care dollars the way they want and need. And it will provide tax credits to those who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program, helping all Americans access high-quality, affordable health care.
At the same time, we on the Education and the Workforce Committee are working to advance additional reforms that will help expand coverage, make health care more affordable, and promote a healthy workforce. One legislative proposal will empower small businesses to band together to negotiate lower health care costs on behalf of their employees. Another will protect the ability of employers to self-insure, providing greater access to affordable, flexible health care plans for their workers. The third will give employers the legal certainty they need to offer employee wellness plans, helping to promote a healthy workforce and — again — lower health care costs.
These three legislative proposals reflect a few shared principles. Families should have the freedom to choose the health care plan that meets their needs. Americans need more affordable health care options, not fewer. Health care decisions should rest with patients and their doctors — not government bureaucrats. And instead of prescriptive mandates, we should ensure employers have the tools they need to help their employees afford health care.
These proposals — along with those in the American Health Care Act — are exactly the kind of free-market, patient-centered reforms Republicans promised, and they reflect the priorities of President Trump and his administration. They are the products of a careful process that took into account the ideas and concerns of men and women from all walks of life, and they will now be considered through an open, transparent process that provides policymakers on both sides of the aisle an opportunity to share their views and offer their ideas.
I encourage everyone — my colleagues in Congress, as well as all Americans — to join in this process. Visit ReadTheBill.GOP. See for yourself the plan we have laid out, and help us move forward with these positive solutions. Together, we can help ensure all Americans have access to the high-quality, affordable health care coverage they deserve.
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