I was a dentist in Blackfoot, Idaho, for 22 years, and although I have left the profession, I remain interested and involved in health care issues. I believe there are a number of things Congress could do to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. As a member of the Doctors Caucus, co-chair of the Oral Health Caucus, and a member of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee on Appropriations, I am working to implement improvements to our health care system that would be broadly supported on a bipartisan basis. In addition, as an appropriator, I am working to bring fiscal responsibility back into our health care system, which is enormously expensive not only for patients seeking care but also for taxpayers who pay to keep the system running.
Like many Idahoans, I am deeply concerned about rising health care costs for employers and consumers alike, indeed the cost of health care has skyrocketed over the past decade and continues to rise. Advanced medical technology and therapy, increased use of prescription drugs, inadequate cost containment and out of control liability costs have led to substantial price increases. In addition, escalating jury awards and the high cost of defending against lawsuits, even frivolous ones, have caused medical liability insurance premiums to reach unprecedented levels. Thus, a growing number of physicians can no longer afford or even find liability insurance. America is still blessed with the best health care system in the world, but we must keep working to make it available and truly affordable for everyone.
I voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) during the 111th Congress, legislation that represents the first step to a government takeover of the healthcare system. I am an original cosponsor of legislation to repeal the law. I have supported repeated efforts to repeal the law, and will continue working with my colleagues to repeal it and replace it with real market based reforms that will improve care and bring down cost.