Roe Statement on the American Health Care Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) through the House of Representatives:
“This bill has been years in the making, and I am proud to support it. As a doctor for over 30 years, I ran for Congress because I wanted to ensure Tennesseans have access to the quality health care they deserve. This plan will dismantle Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, free-market reforms. In stark contrast to Obamacare, the AHCA wasn’t developed by cutting backroom sweetheart deals with every special interest group that is invested in our health care system. We put patients first – they are our only interest.
“There is no question patients are in dire straits under Obamacare. One-third of the counties in my district have zero options to purchase health insurance next year. For the counties that do have an insurer, many only have one option and costs are spiraling. In 2016, premiums increased an average of 46 percent, with many individuals seeing costs increase more than 60 percent. These increases were on top of the explosion of deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, which make it extremely difficult for the middle class to afford necessary medical care. Hospital systems now are seeing 60 to 70 percent of their uncollectible debt coming from people with insurance. How can anyone say that is a success? And it’s not just Tennessee – we’re seeing the same thing happen all over the country.
“Our bill repeals the taxes that have driven up Americans’ health care premiums and hurt job creators, cuts the deficit and expands coverage options. We dramatically enhance and expand Health Savings Accounts, which will encourage more Americans prepare for catastrophic health care costs. The AHCA will eliminate the individual and employer mandate penalties which force many Americans into expensive health plans they didn’t want and cannot afford. Perhaps most importantly, we are empowering states to give Medicaid-eligible patients new options for health care coverage so that first-class people don’t receive second-class care. We do all of this while continuing to ensure people with pre-existing conditions will continue to have access to affordable health insurance.