|Despite my strong opposition and the Republicans’ repeated efforts to defeat President Obama’s bill, it narrowly passed the House and the Senate in 2010 and became law.
I strongly oppose the health reform law and am supportive of Republican efforts of repeal and replace it. I have also been supportive of states such as Idaho’s efforts to overturn the law through the legal process.
That said, I believe the best thing Congress can do now is repeal the bill in its entirety and start over by passing smaller bills that enjoy bipartisan support and focus on bringing down costs for American healthcare consumers.
While I am disappointed that Republicans have not been able to create a consensus plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I remain committed to rolling back the most burdensome requirements of the law to provide relief to Americans families. Specifically, this Congress I have voted for legislation that:
• Repeals the individual mandate that forces Americans to buy insurance they might not want or can’t afford,
• Delays the medical device tax,
• Delays the so called “Cadillac Tax” on high value health insurance plans,
• Delays the health insurance tax.
The House also passed two health care reform bills that will lower costs through increased competition. The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act is a policy change that I have long cosponsored and supported. The legislation would level the playing field by removing the McCarran-Ferguson Act’s federal antitrust exemption for health insurance businesses. I voted in favor of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act which passed by a large bipartisan vote of 416-7.
Another such reform I supported is the Small Business Health Fairness Act would allow small businesses to join together to offer coverage through association health plans thus providing another option for purchasing health insurance and creating competition. The legislation also passed the House with bipartisan support of 236-175. The House also addressed medical malpractice (tort) reform by passing legislation that establishes a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages (pain and suffering damages) and provides for limits on the contingency fees lawyers can charge. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would result in $50 billion in federal health care cost savings.
These are not new ideas—many of them already have support on both sides of the aisle. Americans deserve REAL market based reform—not a partisan, gimmicky bill that will cost trillions of dollars and do little to improve care.