Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

AHCRA the reform needed to replace Obamacare's failure

June 15, 2015
Op-Ed
By Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) 

A majority of Americans opposed Obamacare when a Democrat-controlled Congress passed it and the President signed it into law in 2010. This massive mandate on American individuals and businesses was rammed through with zero bipartisan support - no Republican in the House or Senate voted for this law. Americans should have access to quality, affordable healthcare, but Obamacare is not the solution. President Obama promised lower costs and better quality healthcare, yet we are seeing the opposite take effect.

In 2008, then-candidate Obama said, “If you've got health insurance, we're going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500 per family per year.” Yet, just recently, many major insurance carriers announced double digit premium hikes for 2016. CNN Money reported that, "In Texas, insurer Scott & White is looking for a 32% increase for exchange-based plans, while Humana is asking for an average 30% boost for its policies..." Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico proposed a whopping 50% rate hike.

Insurers have stated these drastic hikes are needed now that they have better data on how many people they will be covering and how healthy or sick they are, which determines the level of cost. These premium increases will join the higher deductibles and higher costs associated with Obamacare. This law hurts small businesses by destroying jobs, while hiking premium prices and taxes on Americans. This is not affordable healthcare and not the reforms that Americans want, nor is it what the President promised.

A full repeal of Obamacare is the best solution. That's why I am a proud cosponsor of the Republican Study Committee alternative called the American Health Care Reform Act (AHCRA). This proposal would fully repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, free-market reforms. It encourages a competitive health care market by allowing Americans to purchase insurance across state lines and permitting small businesses to pool together in order to get the best possible rates.

This proposal also guarantees individuals with pre-existing conditions the ability to move between insurance markets and provides funding for increased medical research for our nation's deadliest diseases. This bill also protects the unborn by prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. We will cut regulation, incentivize innovation and protect life without creating any new taxes or new mandates. No new taxes and no more Obamacare.

This common sense solution will ensure folks have access to quality, affordable health care without placing onerous taxes and regulations on you or your employer. The AHCRA is the reform we need to replace Obamacare's failure. I will continue to do everything I can to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a solution that put doctors and patients in charge of their own care, not Washington bureaucrats.

Pete Olson is the representative for Texas District 22.

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