When President Obama entered office pledging to reform America’s health care system, millions of Americans were out of work and our economy was struggling to find its footing. More than a year after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), millions of Americans are still out of work and the economy is still struggling, but now America’s job creators are contending with a new crippling regulatory regime as a result of the President’s new health care reform law.
Americans are already feeling the adverse effects of this disastrous experiment. Over the past year and a half, we have seen plenty of signs that President Obama’s health care package will be every bit the debacle we warned it would be when the then-Democrat majority jammed the bill through against the will of the American people.
Businesses are learning they will have to spend millions of dollars in an attempt to understand and comply with onerous regulations. Insurance brokers who often operate as small businesses have shut their doors or been forced to lay off employees as a result of the medical loss ratio provisions. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that up to 64% of large-employer plans are likely to lose their grandfathered status due to prescriptive regulations released by the agency.
And to top it off, there have already been more than 6,500 pages of regulation issued as a result of the President’s misguided health care experiment, and this is just the beginning.
Thousands of pages of regulations complicating the ability of doctors to care for their patients, mandates on individuals and businesses, higher taxes, and fewer choices will do nothing to improve the quality and affordability of care in this country. This is precisely why I recently reintroduced the Empowering Patients First Act (HR 3000)—a plan to replace these misguided policies with positive, real reforms.
True health reform must ensure that all Americans have access to coverage. HR 3000 would accomplish this goal by making the purchase of health care financially feasible for individuals who do not receive insurance through their employers, while also protecting employer-sponsored insurance. It would solve the challenges of portability of coverage by acknowledging the principle that one’s insurance ought to be truly owned by the individual.
The Empowering Patients First Act provides greater choice and improves the health care delivery structure. And, it shows that we can accomplish this while reining in out-of-control costs through common-sense ideas that include allowing employers more flexibility in offering discounts to individuals who participate in wellness and prevention programs, and by attacking the high costs associated with the practice of defensive medicine.
Health care decisions must lie with the individual physicians and patients. Washington bureaucrats have no business intruding into clinical decisions, and HR 3000 will ensure that individuals regain control of their health care. Because physicians know the best care for their patient, this legislation establishes doctor-led quality measures, ensuring that patients receive quality care. While President Obama believes in an unaccountable, unelected board of 15 bureaucrats given the power to deny care to seniors, the Empowering Patients First Act believes in patients and their doctors.
American families should not be saddled with a new health care law they did not ask for and still oppose. Moreover, it is only prudent that we do all we can to remove the onerous mandates and regulations staring job creators in the face so that there are fewer roadblocks to entrepreneurial opportunity and economic growth. The Empowering Patients First Act would end the threat of President Obama’s health care law to both patients and our economy, and provide patient-centered, positive solutions to move our nation in the right direction.
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