The Affordable Care Act has had severe consequences for many families in the 3rd District, driving up the cost of care and reducing access to care. I remain committed to replacing President Obama’s government takeover of our healthcare system, it infringes on the boundaries that should exist between a government and its citizens. We then must replace this legislation with a different type of reform; one that empowers the individual rather than the government, unleashes the competitive forces of the market to drive innovation, and eliminates the costly government mandates that drive up costs and reduce options for health insurance.
We have made progress toward dismantling Obama’s healthcare law, repealing the individual mandate that forced Americans to buy a health insurance plan or face a fine. There is still work to be done and I continue to work to advance market-based healthcare alternatives to ensure patient choice, expand healthcare access and drive down costs.
Much of the discussion on health care reform has centered on containing the rapidly inflating costs of health care in America. Making health care affordable is the key to making it accessible for all Americans.
Meaningful health care reform would have addressed the distorted incentives built into our health care system that drive costs, and therefore prices, ever higher. Instead, Democrats reinforced the distortions caused by our heavy reliance on third party payers by further severing any connection between the consumer and the cost of care. As costs for health care continue to rise, the government will be forced to contain those costs by other means, namely by rationing access to various treatments or in particular circumstances that are deemed insufficiently cost-effective. The Democrats’ plan is a top-down, centrally-planned system in which Washington decides how much will be spent and on which treatments and under what circumstances. Access to care and availability of new treatments will become a political question, and solely the province of politicians and bureaucrats.
In contrast, a market-based approach relies on the private decisions of millions of individuals informed by the price mechanism. It empowers the individual to make decisions regarding their insurance and health care needs based on their particular circumstances and priorities. It puts the consumers of health care – the patient – in control of their own health care dollars, and ultimately in control of the care and treatments that they wish to receive in return for those dollars.
By lifting the regulatory barriers that inhibit choice and competition in the insurance market and then applying targeted solutions to problems such as pre-existing and chronic conditions, we can create a dynamic marketplace that provides affordable insurance options for people of all needs and circumstances. These reforms build on the strengths of our current system, while correcting the distorted incentives, to create just this type of dynamic market: Encourage the innovation of new drugs, treatments, and other health care technologies by reforming the inconsistent, lengthy and costly FDA trial process and allow greater patient access to new and promising treatment options.