Health Care

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The health care law, commonly known as Obamacare, is hurting people in Michigan right now and we must act to fix this law before things get even worse. 

There are better ways of addressing the problems in our health care system than imposing big government solutions that only limit choice and remove decision-making from individuals.  I’m working with my colleagues to implement real health care reform and enact a truly patient-centered system with more choices and lower costs.

Protecting Medicare
The Trustees for Medicare predict that the program will go bankrupt by 2028, resulting in immediate cuts to Medicare for seniors.  Additionally, Obamacare raided more than $800 billion from Medicare. 

We must keep our promise to the 50 million Americans who rely on Medicare and work to save and strengthen Medicare for current seniors and future recipients.  In March 2015 I introduced legislation, H.R. 1520, which would protect future surpluses by creating a lockbox that prevents these funds from being spent on other federal programs.

Fixing the Broken Health Care System
As a Member of the Energy & Commerce Committee, I am working to provide people in Michigan with relief from the failures of Obamacare.

The first step is repealing Obamacare through a budget resolution and reconciliation bill to provide relief to the millions of Americans already being harmed by Obamacare. Once enacted, there will be a stable transition period towards a better health care system, as we pass legislation to enact patient-centered solutions that promote consumer choice, decrease health care costs and improve access to care.

We must rebuild our health care system so that works for all Americans, and have cosponsored H.R. 1121, the Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act, to ensure that enrollees cannot have benefits excluded from a plan due to a pre-existing condition, and that patients will not pay more based on their health care status.

As we look to increase choices for health care, I’ve also joined with my colleague Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and introduced H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act, to empower small businesses to provide their employees greater access to quality, affordable health care. By allowing small businesses to band together through association health plans, we can lower health care costs for working families.

You can follow our efforts by visiting the Committee’s Health Care Central page and this frequently asked questions page.

The “Affordable Care Act” is Unaffordable
I consistently hear from constituents who have been hit with skyrocketing premium increases, higher deductibles and soaring out-of-pocket costs, and few health care options.  Without action, people in Michigan will continue to suffer from:

Double-Digit Premium Hikes
Even though President Obama promised that premiums would decline by $2,500 per family, the reality is that the average annual family premiums in the employer-sponsored market have soared by roughly $4,300 and now total more than $18,000 annually. 

In October 2016, the Obama Administration announced sharp premium increases for health insurance coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. These increases are nearly four times larger than previously projected, and in Michigan, individual health plans jumped an average of 16.7%.

Higher Deductibles
Deductibles have grown under Obamacare and individual plans in the employer-sponsored market are up an average of 60 percent since 2010 – from $917 to $1,478 in 2016.

Lower Enrollments
Rather than encouraging people to sign up for care, Obamacare’s increased costs have actually discouraged enrollments. In 2015, roughly 8 million Americans paid the individual mandate penalty rather than purchase too-costly health insurance.

Fewer Choices for Care
Already, 18 of the original 23 Obamacare CO-OPs have failed, further reducing provider options and costing taxpayers of more than $1.8 billion, including nearly $72 million from Michigan’s failed CO-OP.

Michigan families, particularly those who live in rural communities, are finding they have fewer in-network providers and must travel long distances to find care.

Promoting Medical Research and Life-Saving Cures
Groundbreaking research and innovation is happening all around us, particularly in health care.  Unfortunately, existing government rules cannot keep pace with these scientific developments and hold back the approval of new drugs and treatments for some of the worst diseases.

In November 2016, I supported the 21st Century Cures Act, landmark initiative to invest in medical research, streamline outdated bureaucracy, and expedite the development of new cures and treatments.  This bipartisan effort will offer hope to the millions of patients and families who are in the midst of battling cancer and diseases and was signed into law in December 2016.

Modernizing the Mental Health Care System
Mental health issues touch every community in Michigan and we all know families who struggle with mental health issues on a daily basis. In the current system, far too many individuals are slipping through the cracks, becoming homeless or incarcerated, and not getting the help and treatment they need.

To bring long-sought reforms to our mental health care system, I supported The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, the most significant mental health care overhaul in decades which became law in December 2016.  The legislation advances significant bipartisan reforms to enhance evidence-based treatment, expand the mental health workforce, help reach underserved and rural populations, and remove barriers to care.

Health Care Websites
Department of Health and Human Services

02/16/2017 - Cosponsoring Legislation: H.R. 1121 Pre-Existing Conditions Protection Act
02/16/2017 - Cosponsoring Legislation: H.R. 1101 Small Business Health Fairness Act
03/19/2015 - Sponsored Legislation: 
H.R. 1520 Social Security and Medicare Lockbox Act

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