Exclusive–Rep. Rokita: Obama, Admit There Is a Better Way to Healthcare Reform
When President Obama stands before the American people to deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, I hope he admits that ObamaCare is an insidious law and a failed experiment in big government. I am doubtful, of course, given his arrogance on the topic, that the President would make such an admission.
The President should at least acknowledge that there is a better way to lower costs and improve health care without a massive government takeover, thousands of new IRS agents, and bureaucrats coming between patients and their doctors. I doubt this will happen either.
Ignorant media elites have criticized me for suggesting that ObamaCare is amongst the most insidious laws devised, but it is a fact. Insidious does not mean awful or discriminatory, as some laws have unfortunately been throughout history. It means that ObamaCare is among the most deceptive and dishonest laws ever enacted.
ObamaCare is built around a series of lies which are now being exposed.
First, President Obama promised that if you like your health care you can keep it. In reality, Americans will be lucky to keep their jobs—let alone their health care—thanks to ObamaCare. Millions have lost their health insurance, and it is now clear that President Obama knew all the way back in 2010 that this would be the result.
Second, ObamaCare’s proponents said the law would empower consumers. Instead, it has placed the federal government in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship.
Third, President Obama promised that health care would be more affordable. The exact opposite is proving to be true. According to data released by Medicare’s actuary, Obamacare will actually increase health care costs on the average American family by nearly $7,500.
Fourth, by using accounting tricks and gimmicks, President Obama convinced many Americans that it would reduce our national debt. Now it is clear that over the next 10 years, ObamaCare will spend $1.9 trillion that we do not have. By the end of the decade, ObamaCare spending will exceed $200 billion annually.
Obamacare needs to be replaced with free market, patient-centered reforms to lower costs, empower consumers and help Americans with pre-existing conditions without putting federal bureaucrats in charge of our health care system, costing Americans jobs, and exploding America’s debt.
Recently, several colleagues and I introduced the American Health Care Reform Act, bringing together the brightest reform ideas to replace ObamaCare and improve health care delivery in America.
The greatest challenge is making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. Creating cost transparency in health care is critical to driving down prices. As Americans, we are great consumers. We know how to find a deal. When you need a new set of tires, you shop around. You go to Firestone, Goodyear, and Sears, and you look for the best product at the best price. That is value.
When was the last time you remember seeing what your doctor actually billed your insurer?
When was the last time you shopped around for non-emergency health care services like you would when purchasing any other good or service? Our bill begins shedding light on the true cost of health care by disclosing Medicare claims information so Americans can see what various providers are actually charging for their services.
Beyond transparency, the next best thing we can do for health care is to foster competition. The American Health Care Reform Act does this is several ways.
It encourages competition by allowing Americans to purchase insurance from insurers in other states. The insurance markets in most states are dominated by just a few companies. Allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines fosters competition which drives down prices.
Our plan equalizes tax treatment so that individuals get the same tax breaks for purchasing insurance that big corporations get for providing insurance for their employees. Empowering individuals and families by letting them keep more of their own money will allow more Americans to purchase health insurance and reduce prices.
Pre-existing conditions are a real problem, and they are the most common issue proponents of ObamaCare use to justify their massive expansion of federal power. While on the surface it may sound good, forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions only increases costs for everyone else.
Instead of spreading the cost around and encouraging Americans to drop their health insurance, we propose funding high-risk pools from which Americans with pre-existing conditions can purchase affordable insurance.
The American Health Care Reform Act is a prescription for better health care delivery without the dire side effects of ObamaCare—side effects that will ultimately lead to single-payer government health care. The American Health Care Reform Act is a better way.