Weekly Columns

A Better Way to Reform Health Care

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Washington, June 29, 2016 | Tiffany Haverly (202-226-8072) | comments

Last week, as part of House Republicans’ ongoing effort to present bold, real solutions for some of the most pressing issues our country is facing to the American people, the Health Care Task Force rolled out a better way to reform the American health care system. As you know, before coming to Congress, I spent my career caring for patients as an OBGYN. Treating patients isn’t political – I never once saw a Republican or Democrat disease while practicing medicine – and health care reform shouldn’t be political either. It’s clear the president’s health care law isn’t working, and Americans deserve to know what Republicans in Congress can do to replace it.

My Republican colleagues and I knew there were problems with our health care system long before passage of the Affordable Care Act, and that’s why I’ve encouraged our conference to rally around a health care proposal that will lower costs, improve quality and expand access. Nothing frustrates me more than when people say Republicans have no ideas for health care reform – especially considering House Republicans introduced more than 400 individual bills to improve health care, including more than one comprehensive repeal and replace package. This framework proves we can repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, market-based health care reform.  

I participated in every one of the Health Care Task Force meetings, and I’m proud of the final product. This framework incorporates many members’ ideas, including my own, and will eliminate uncertainty in health care and make it easier for patients to see their doctor, afford the cost of their care and receive the highest-quality care available. It preserves the relationship between a patient and their doctor, and gets the federal government out of health care decisions. This proposal also acknowledges the importance of investing in medical research and finding cures for diseases, something I’ve strongly advocated for since coming to Congress. Unlike the Affordable Care Act, this plan will truly help struggling American families at a time when they need it most.

This plan has at least 48 ideas for comprehensive health care reform, and repeals more than $1 trillion in tax increases that were included in the president’s health care law. The proposal was developed from five main principles:

1. It fully repeals Obamacare;

2. It provides all Americans with more choices, lower costs and greater flexibility;

3. It provides important protections for patients with pre-existing conditions;

4. It encourages innovation in health care; and

5. It stops Obamacare’s raid on Medicare to protect and preserve it for future generations.

I am also pleased the package includes many of the recommendations I made in my comprehensive health care reform bill, the American Health Care Reform Act. For example, one of the main components of my bill is to allow patients to purchase health insurance across state lines. I believe this will spur competition by giving individuals and families more options for insurance, and, in turn, lower the cost of health insurance. Additionally, my bill would expand health savings accounts so patients can shop like consumers in any other market, giving them the purchasing power and ability to find care to fit their cost and quality needs. Both of these principles were included in the task force proposal.

I believe this proposal represents the kind of forward thinking we need in health care. While we can and should take steps to lower the cost of care and expand access, the American health care system is still the best in the world. Still, too many patients have trouble affording their cost of their care and accessing the services they need. The reality is that the president’s health care bill did nothing to address the high cost of health care, and our plan would expand access, lower costs and give the American people the health care options they deserve. You can read the plan in full at better.gop and follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #BetterWay.

Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family. 
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