In the real world, when you buy a product with a guarantee, and you are not happy with what you bought, you can return or exchange it.
We all heard the promises President Obama made when selling his health care law. But, if you ask Western Pennsylvanians they will tell you a tale of broken promises and disappointments.
A mom from Gibsonia told me that, “The cost increases are out of control. We are a middle-class family of four, and this health care reform is taking a serious chunk of our income.” Her family’s premiums will increase 46% in 2014.
Robert has been working at a big box store to stay insured and recently had his hours reduced to twenty-nine per week and is losing his health insurance.
Stephanie, a nurse from the North Hills, told me that she and her family are losing their health care plan, a plan they liked, and will be forced into the exchanges.
Another North Hills mom shared her frustration at the President’s failure to honor his guarantee that she would be able to keep her doctor. “No, I will not as mine will not be there for me any longer.”
Chris, a constituent from Beaver County who will be laid off in November, asked me to “please repeal this mess of a law and do something sensible.”
Chris’ admonition to Congress is important and valuable advice. That is exactly what my colleagues and I want to achieve to improve care and reduce costs for all Americans.
In recent days, you may have heard about funding the federal government and defunding Obamacare.
Here is the scoop: I am against a shutdown. The President’s health care law, however, is not ready for primetime, so let’s delay it and work on a better way. President Obama has admitted as much by issuing nine delays and signing seven pieces of legislation repealing various aspects of the law.
Last week, the House passed a bill that keeps the federal government open, provides Congress with additional time to complete its work on the twelve annual, appropriations bills, and delays the President’s health care law. Doing so would provide breathing room to produce bipartisan reform that increases access to care and lowers costs.
One such health care reform alternative is The American Health Care Reform Act. This proposal would lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase coverage across State lines and enabling small businesses to pool together to increase their buying power. It would allow families and individuals to deduct health care costs and expand the amount of pre-tax dollars they can deposit into portable health savings accounts. This is a significant difference – under the President’s law, you get a tax penalty if you don’t buy insurance; under the new proposal, you get a tax break if you buy insurance.
Importantly, this legislation also provides significant funding for State-based high risk pools, a place where individuals with preexisting conditions can obtain health insurance coverage when doing so would have otherwise been unaffordable.
This is just one solution that could address Chris’ instruction to Congress, and if we can delay or repeal the health care law I am committed to working with all my colleagues for solutions that actually work.
It is time for a new beginning. It is time for a new beginning that brings Republicans and Democrats together in support of bipartisan solutions. As President John F. Kennedy said, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.”