Since President Obama and Nancy Pelosi pushed through Obamacare in 2010, millions of Americans have been dropped from their insurance plans and forced to buy new, more expensive policies. The House has voted numerous times to repeal all or part of the disastrous health care law.
We need to fix the broken network of government policies and federal mandates that have made such a mess of health care in America and replace Obamacare with patient-centered reforms rooted in free market principles that will lower costs. House conservatives have recently introduced more than 200 health care-related bills, which include solutions like:
Making health insurance companies compete nationwide, across state lines. Americans residing in a state with expensive health insurance plans are locked into those plans and do not currently have an opportunity to choose a lower cost option that best meets their needs. Americans should have the freedom to buy health insurance from any provider.
Guaranteeing people with pre-existing conditions can get affordable coverage. Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. Creating high risk pools with premium caps and expanding Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protections will ensure access to coverage.
Providing a universal tax deduction for buying health insurance. Whether Americans buy health insurance independently or through an employer, the tax code should treat everyone equally and fairly.
Empowering families with tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide cost effective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. Letting families save more for health care expenses will encourage financial stability. House conservatives support improving HSAs by making it easier for patients with high-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We also support repealing Obamacare, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.
Increasing transparency in billing so consumers know what they are paying for. In the age of the Internet, everyone can see prices and reviews of anything before buying—except when it comes to health care. Informed choices are better choices.
Enabling small businesses and other groups to pool their coverage. Letting employers partner together to get the same insurance rates as large corporations will lower costs.
Cracking down on junk lawsuits. Skyrocketing medical liability insurance rates have distorted the practice of medicine, routinely forcing doctors to order costly and often unnecessary tests to protect themselves from lawsuits, often referred to as “defensive medicine.” In Texas, our physicians were being sued at twice the national average and doctors practicing in high-risk specialties like obstetrics either left the state or gave up the practice of medicine. Two-thirds of Texas’ 254 counties had no OB-GYN. Sixty percent of Texas counties had no pediatricians. But in 2003, the Texas legislature enacted sweeping medical liability reforms that started to fix the problem. Since then, claims and lawsuits in most Texas counties have been cut in half. And, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas has increased by 60 percent. The Texas model would work in other states.
Reducing the doctor shortage. Physician shortages are expected to reach 91,500 by 2020. Incentivizing primary care physicians to work in underserved areas will increase access and improve quality of care.
Giving states flexibility to improve Medicaid through innovation. After it was freed from some federal mandates, Rhode Island increased choice and expanded access for low-income Americans while reducing costs. Other states should be able to do the same.
Medicaid Block Grant Bill, which would change Medicaid from an entitlement program to grant program. This change gives states the flexibility to design their Medicaid program in a way that would best serve their residents.
H.R. 2653, The American Healthcare Reform Act, fully repeals Obamacare, allows individuals to purchase insurance across state lines, expands access to Health Savings Accounts, restores state’s rights to regulate the health insurance marketplace, and contains provision that will enable small businesses to pull their resources and purchase insurance at a lower cost for their employees.
H.R. 2911, The Small Business Healthcare Relief Act, would allow small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to offer Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees for the payment of premiums or qualified medical expenses associated with insurance coverage without facing a $100/day, per employee fine, otherwise known as the § 4980D excise tax.
H.R. 3381, The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act, would improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidences to state cancer registries, improve the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, ensure publicly accessible expanded access policies, and expand research
H.R. 546, The ACE Kids Act, would allow health care providers to form coordinated care networks to relieve families of the burdens associated with state-by-state Medicaid barriers to their child’s care.
Letters that I have led or signed:
February 3, 2016 - Amicus Brief for the Supreme Court Case Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt- I joined 143 pro-life members of Congress in submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting Texas in the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The case set to be heard before the Supreme Court this spring will consider the constitutionality of two provisions of HB2, a Texas abortion law protecting the unborn and women’s health and safety. The brief argues that abortion providers should not be exempt from the basic safety standards that apply to all other medical practitioners who perform surgical procedures. HB2 reflects sensible judgement by the Texas Legislature to prioritize life and the Supreme Court is not qualified to second-guess such judgements. To read the amicus brief, click here.