In advance of Thursday’s vote overhauling the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Representative Will Hurd released the following statement:
“We must remember, that regardless of its goals, Obamacare has not made healthcare more accessible or more affordable. It has led to expensive and confusing insurance coverage for American families while adding regulations at the expense of small businesses. I see this first hand as I travel the district and hear stories of premiums doubling overnight and outrageous deductibles forcing families to spend their entire savings just to get the care they need.
“And what keeps getting lost in media coverage is this: insurance is not healthcare. Seven years after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, there are still millions of Texans who cannot access or afford quality healthcare. ‘Rates of the insured’ are irrelevant if these same people cannot afford to receive treatment.
“Obamacare is collapsing, so maintaining the status quo is not an option. While crisscrossing my district all year and driving 1,600 miles across the country last week, I’ve heard loud-and-clear that while the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will increase insurance options and competition, it must help those who were previously uninsurable, and strengthen protections for the aged and disabled on Medicaid.
“This is why I’ve been encouraging Leadership in the House of Representatives to make changes to the AHCA prior to our vote on Thursday. Congress needs to provide states the flexibility to address their most pressing issues. I’ve asked for Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states to be treated equally, and I’ve asked that doctors who take care of these vulnerable populations receive the support they need so that they do not opt-out of treating Medicaid patients all together, further restricting access to care.
“Even after Obamacare is repealed, work still needs to be done like extending and expanding programs like the 1115 Waiver. This is a tool used by States to expand Medicaid access for children, families, and those in rural areas.
“I’ve also told House Leadership I will continue to champion funding for Community Health Centers and increased reimbursements for rural providers, and I believe that any final plan must integrate these critical components. I look forward to reading the final bill and hope that these provisions, which are extremely important to my constituents, are included.”
A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. In Washington, he serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as Vice Chair of the Maritime and Border Security Subcommittee on the Committee for Homeland Security, and as the Chairman of the Information Technology Subcommittee on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.