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Hurd on the Hill: Paving the Way for Better Healthcare

“What’s the point of having health insurance anymore?”

I’m often asked this question by constituents who are pummeled by out-of-pocket costs under Obamacare.

It’s a great question. And after six years of this experiment, it is clear that Obamacare has failed the American people. Families face skyrocketing premiums and soaring deductibles, making healthcare more unaffordable than ever. In Texas this year alone, we’ve experienced a 34 percent increase in Obamacare premiums, forcing us to pay more each month just to keep our coverage. Couple that with multiplying deductibles in the thousands of dollars, and it’s no surprise that many people feel like they don’t have coverage at all.

Obamacare is collapsing as we speak. Only five of the original 23 health insurance CO-OPs remain in business, and these failures have cost taxpayers more than $1.8 billion.  As insurers continue to drop like dominos, options for healthcare coverage continue to shrink. Currently, over a third of counties nationwide have only one choice for health insurance. That is not a choice – that’s a monopoly.

A modern-day health care model should allow patients—along with their health care providers— to make decisions about their health care needs, instead of a federal administrator. Loving parents working with their local doctor would do a far better job of protecting the health of their children, and caregivers at home know far more about their family’s need than bureaucrats in Washington.

The Good News

The good news is that we are finally on the same page. Eight in ten Americans agree that we need to significantly change or repeal Obamacare altogether, and Congress is responding by repealing Obamacare and paving the way for better healthcare for all Americans.

We already have a replacement plan, and it provides more choices and less top-down mandates. It also makes sure that you never have to worry about being turned away because of pre-existing conditions, age, income, or circumstance. Our plan eliminates unnecessary bureaucracy to accelerate the development of life-saving devices and therapies, and it protects Medicare for today’s seniors, while preserving the program for future generations.

I am fighting with my colleagues to provide relief for millions of struggling families. The end goal is a patient-centered system that lowers costs and provides more choices for the American people.

What to Expect

As we work to replace Obamacare with something better, there will be a stable transition period so that no one has the rug pulled out from underneath them. Patients currently on the healthcare exchange will not lose coverage without a replacement, kids will still be able to stay on their parent’s plans, and patients with preexisting conditions will not be turned away.

Our blueprint lays out a step-by-step process that begins with a budget resolution for fiscal year 2017, authorizing Congress to fast-track repeal legislation with only simple majorities in the House and Senate. This legislation passed last week, paving the way for us to begin in earnest to repeal and replace this job-killing law that has neither made healthcare more affordable nor protected patients. In the coming months, Congress will work to first repeal tax-related provisions, such as the individual mandate that eliminated choice for patients across the country, while maintaining protections for those with pre-existing conditions and strengthening successful programs like Medicare Advantage and Health Savings Accounts.

We are committed to doing this the right way so that every American has access to quality, affordable coverage for years to come. Learn more about our plan at www.abetterway.speaker.gov

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