Thank you for participating in the recent Peninsula town hall. I appreciate your attendance and desire to voice your support or concern for issues facing our nation. We had a great turn out and addressed as many questions as time allowed, however we were not able to get to your question and I wanted to send you a response.
As you may know, healthcare is an incredibly complicated subject. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was established with good intentions to provide affordable healthcare to Americans at every income level, it has been anything but good on its promises. Since the enactment of the ACA in 2010, individuals, families, and businesses, year after year, have seen increased premiums and deductibles, lack of choices, and diminished healthcare quality. The unfortunate truth is there is nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA has created a tangled mess of regulations, taxes, and mandates. A mess that must be fixed. The government cannot and should not require citizens to engage in commerce that they don’t want to engage in. However, like you, I believe that buying into health insurance is good for the individual and it’s good for society when people join an insurance pool. In order to achieve an affordable patient-centered health care system with more choices and less federal mandates, the ACA must be repealed and replaced.
The first step of the repeal process is a resolution which will set the stage for the repeal and transition period. On January 13, 2017, this first step was initiated when the House passed S. Con. Res. 3, with my support, a simple budget resolution that includes reconciliation instructions for Congress to repeal the ACA.
Because the repeal resolution passed both the House and Senate, we are now entering the second and final phase of the repeal process: reconciliation. During this phase, certain committees work to produce legislation that would repeal the parts of the ACA under their jurisdiction. Upon the production and passage of the different committee’s pieces, the Budget Committee will compile all parts into one complete piece of legislation for consideration by the House and Senate. Once passed by both chambers and signed into law, we will move into a stable transition period to ensure that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.
Our replacement, as outlined in the Better Way agenda, will move to a patient focused system, and rein in the cost of healthcare, unlike the ACA which was government-centered. In addition, it will include a number of other common-sense provisions:
Protect patients with pre-existing conditions;
Doing big things is rarely easy- but we cannot and will not let American families down. That is why it is so important to get this bill right and to unite around our shared goal. With the introduction of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, Members have engaged in meaningful conversations about the best path forward and I am pleased to report that we are making progress. One proposal to emerge from recent discussions is a broadly supported concept that will further benefit those purchasing insurance in the individual market. The Palmer-Schweikert amendment creates a $15 billion Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program that will help states reduce premiums by reimbursing health insurance issuers for high cost individuals beginning in 2018.
This is a positive step that strengthens our plan, however more work remains. I realize how important it is to keep up momentum so be assured that conversations will continue.
I understand the need to provide affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans. However, the ACA has continuously been a burden to our healthcare system, American taxpayers, and businesses. It needs to be replaced with lower costs, more healthcare options, and better care. Rest assured, that I will work with my colleagues to provide a replacement with common sense solutions for all American families.
Again, thank you for attending my town hall. I believe it is an important first step in establishing a dialogue with you, and I hope you will continue to voice your comments, concerns, and suggestions in the months to come. I consider it a high honor to serve as your United States Representative, something that I will never forget was bestowed upon me by our wonderful district. I invite you to stay in contact with me by signing up for my e-newsletter here to receive regular updates from Washington D.C. and by joining me on Facebook and Twitter.
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Thursday, April 13, 2017
Responding to your message
at 1:51 PM