WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 7, 2017
The time to repeal and replace the disastrous 2010 health care law is now. Just this week, House Republicans introduced legislation to provide immediate relief and replace the flawed law with the positive health care reforms Republicans have long supported — reforms that would expand coverage and lower health care costs.
As House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) explain in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
The legislation provides immediate relief from ObamaCare by eliminating the penalties attached to the individual and employer mandates. Washington will no longer force Americans to purchase expensive, inadequate plans they don’t need and cannot afford. … After seven years of ObamaCare’s failures, Republicans are committed to lowering costs, expanding choices and putting the American people back in charge of their own health care.
As Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) office further noted, this proposal will:
- Protect the poor and most vulnerable.
- Help middle-income Americans gain access to affordable coverage.
- Promote more choice and competition among insurers.
- Empower states to better serve people in need.
- Eliminate costly insurance mandates.
Meanwhile, members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce are doing their part to advance patient-centered health care solutions that drive down costs and promote a healthier, more productive workforce. Here are three proposals the committee is marking up this week that would do just that:
- The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313): The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took actions in recent years that have undermined popular employee wellness programs. This bill, introduced by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would provide employers the legal certainty they need to offer employee wellness plans, helping to promote a healthy workforce and lower health care costs.
- The Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101): Introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, this bill would empower small businesses to band together though association health plans (AHPs) to negotiate for lower health insurance costs on behalf of their employees.
- The Self-Insurance Protection Act (H.R. 1304): Introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), this bill would help ensure robust access to stop-loss insurance by preventing any administration from regulating it as traditional health insurance coverage. As a result, the bill would protect the ability of employers to self-insure, providing greater access to affordable, flexible health care plans for their workers.
As we move forward with this next step to reform health care, we will continue to champion responsible proposals that will roll back the harmful effects of Obamacare and ensure more Americans have access to affordable, patient-centered health care.
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