by Congressman Phil Roe, 1st District TN - Just days after President Obama gave another speech
Additionally, roughly 1 in 5 consumers will have only one health insurance provider to choose from. In Tennessee, things are looking even worse. Exchange beneficiaries will see their premiums increase an average of 56 percent if they stay on their health plan, and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest insurer, pulled out of the exchanges in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, leaving roughly 131,000 Tennesseans without coverage. It is clearer than ever that Obamacare is failing.
During the health care debate, I predicted many of the things we’re seeing now would happen. As an OBGYN who practiced medicine for more than 30 years, I was keenly aware of the challenges in the American health care system. In fact, it’s what encouraged me to come to Congress. I knew the health care debate would be moving forward and hoped to bring my real-life experience to the discussion. Unfortunately, Democrats cut Republicans out of the legislative process and moved forward with partisan health care reform. I’ve never once treated a Republican or Democrat cancer in my life, and health care reform should have never been a partisan mission. Unfortunately, now the American people are paying the price because Democrats in Congress prioritized politics over sound policy.
Rather than acknowledge the problems his law is causing, President Obama instead chooses to pretend there aren’t any other options to reform health care. This couldn’t be further from the truth; the president is deliberately misleading the American people. For the last four years, I worked to create a commonsense, patient-centered alternative to ObamaCare, the American Health Care Reform Act, which was cosponsored by more than half of the Republican conference. My bill would repeal and replace the president’s law with free market reforms that return health care decisions to patients and their doctors, lower costs for all Americans and improve the quality of health care.
I was pleased when House Republicans prioritized six issue areas to develop bold solutions to address some of the most pressing issues facing our country, including health care. I attended nearly every health care task force meeting to discuss my ideas and experiences, and several were included in the final proposal released last June. This proposal fully repeals Obamacare; provides all Americans with more choices, lower costs and greater flexibility; provides protections for patients with pre-existing conditions; encourages innovation in health care; and protects Medicare for future generations. These are the kinds of reforms we need to fix health care.
The agenda released by the task forces isn’t just called a Better Way – these policies are truly a better way to move our country forward. Like you, I am frustrated by the direction our country is headed. I see too many Tennesseans who are struggling to make ends meet, whether it’s because of their skyrocketing health insurance premiums or their inability to find a job and provide for their family. We cannot afford more of the same failed policies, but Republicans also cannot just be the party of no. You know what we’re against, and it’s time to tell you what we are for. We have a responsibility to introduce real, bold policy proposals to show how we want to shrink the size of government while making it more efficient. You deserve to know what we’d like to do to reform health care and get our economy back on track. That’s what a Better Way is, and I hope you’ll take a moment to read these proposals at Better.gop and share your thoughts on the agenda with me.