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Leadership & Results Part 6: Advancing Free-Market, Patient-Centered Health Care

Under the leadership of Chairman John Kline (R-MN), the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has been working hard on behalf of students, small business owners, teachers, and working families. And by improving education, retirement, job training, and more, the committee has delivered impressive results. This is the sixth in a series of releases that will look back at some important reforms the committee has advanced under Chairman Kline’s leadership—reforms that will help more Americans pursue a lifetime of success and prosperity.

Chairman Kline, alongside other Republican leaders, discusses ‘A Better Way’
to health care reform at AEI in June 2016

Employers play an important role in fostering a healthy workforce. However, in recent years, many businesses—particularly small businesses—have been struggling under the damaging effects of ObamaCare. The law has crippled the ability of employers to grow their businesses, strained a health care system that was already too costly and too bureaucratic, and left hardworking Americans to suffer the consequences.

Under Chairman Kline’s leadership, members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce traveled across America to hear first-hand how the law was negatively impacting local employers and workers. As Glen Graber, president of Graber Post Building and Martin Metals, said when members traveled to Indiana in 2011:

Over the past several years, the premiums that we have paid have more than doubled … As an employer, the more my costs for insurance goes up, the less money is available to invest in the company—expanding a customer base, upgrading technology or even increasing wages.

Janey Moores, head of a medical staffing company in Kentucky, echoed similar concerns in 2013:

In the last few years, the job market has dropped off of a huge cliff and is likely to never return. What is different now that wasn’t a factor over the last few years? No one can deny that the toxic ingredient in today’s job market is the so-called Affordable Healthcare Act.

These are just some of the reasons the committee has played a leading role in the ongoing effort to repeal ObamaCare. For years, the committee has joined like-minded allies in the fight to undo the damaging effects of the president’s health care law and promote free-market, patient-centered health care.

In fact, in 2016, Chairman Kline, along with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other House Republicans, unveiled a plan to replace ObamaCare and provide every American with A Better Way to access quality and affordable health care. The plan preserves employer-sponsored coverage and promotes patient-centered health care solutions that provide workers and their families with choice, access, and flexibility through reforms that:

  • Protect employee wellness programs, providing employers with the legal certainty they need to reward workers for making healthy lifestyle decisions.

  • Allow small businesses to band together and form association health plans (AHPs), increasing their purchasing power and enabling them to negotiate with insurers for lower prices.

  • Ensure employers have the flexibility to meet their workers’ needs, empowering them to self-insure and customize health care plans to control costs for their employees.

The committee will continue to work alongside House Republicans to provide employers with the freedom and flexibility to make these health care options a reality. As Chairman Kline said while speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in June:

We’ve been involved in this for a long time, trying to do the best we can to make sure people get the health care they deserve … It’s commonsense that if you’re doing things to keep you well, keep you healthy, the law ought to allow and encourage that to happen.

The work is not done. In fact, it’s just beginning. But it’s the beginning of a process that will finally give the American people the health care solutions they deserve.