This Summer’s health care headlines have not reflected what Americans were promised in 2010.
They’re sobering reminders that our health care system and the Affordable Care Act continue to fail too many Americans.
As Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) described it:
“Americans today are trapped in a system where bureaucrats in Washington make our health care choices for us. Under Obamacare … patients not only face dramatically higher health care costs, they’ve also lost the power to choose the options right for them.
“Millions of Americans have been forced to pay more for an inadequate plan with fewer options for treatment.”
House Republicans refuse to settle for a broken health care system and believe Americans deserve a better way.
In June, we proposed our plan to finally provide Americans with high quality and truly affordable health care. Our plan is based on what patients want, not what Washington prescribes. We recognize that individuals and families have unique needs and we make it easier for them to access the care that’s right for them at the price they can afford.
Explaining the premise of our plan, Chairman Brady wrote in USA Today:
“We know that a single 28-year-old in Washington, D.C., a family of four in Huntsville, Texas, and a retired grandpa in Tampa, Fla. have very different health care needs. But we also know that, regardless of their needs, everybody deserves to have the same access to a robust and vibrant health care market with affordable, quality options.
“Americans have asked for years for an alternative to Obamacare. Commonsense, portable, affordable, personalized, high-quality health care is our answer.”
Here’s how our plan improves lives for all Americans:
- It expands access to health care: Our plan strengthens employer-sponsored insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. But for those who do not have access to those coverage options, our plan provides an advanceable, refundable tax credit — in other words, portable financial support — for individuals and families to purchase the insurance plan of their choosing. We also preserves patient protections that increase access to health care, including allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ plan until they are 26; prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions; lifting lifetime caps on medical care; and ensuring standard rates for individuals who have maintained continuous coverage. These policies help ensure all Americans have access to coverage.
- It increases health care choices: Our plan makes it easier for Americans to find the health care plan that works for them and take it with them — from job to job, state to state, or home to start a business or raise a family. Under our plan, consumers would not be limited to coverage options available only in their state. They can shop across state lines to purchase coverage that meets their needs. Our plan also promotes and strengthens consumer-driven health care options, such as Health Savings Accounts, which empower individuals and families to make their own decisions about how to spend their health care dollars. Additionally, we bolster support for Medicare Advantage — a market–based program proven to expand high-quality, affordable options for our seniors — and move Medicare toward premium support to unleash the power or choice and competition. These policies help ensure all Americans have access to the care and support they need when they need it.
- It reduces health care costs: By expanding access and increasing choices, our plan spurs competition and innovation — essential drivers for reducing health care costs. For example, our plan incentivizes states to craft premium-reduction programs to make health care more accessible and affordable. Additionally, we remove policies that drive up costs by repealing Obamacare’s most harmful mandates, eliminating layers of federal bureaucracy, and putting control back in the hands of patients and doctors — not politicians and special interests. These policies, combined with the right incentives for individuals to have and keep their coverage, will decrease premium rates by double digits in the individual market, as well as help ensure all Americans can afford to purchase coverage.
Over the next few weeks, the Ways and Means Committee will roll out a series of blogs showing how real Americans will benefit under House Republicans’ health care plan.