By Dave Camp
Health care costs too much in this country. Spending $1 trillion more on health care, as the Democrats' new law does, didn't reduce health care costs. In fact, it will only make matters worse. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the law will actually increase the cost of insurance for millions of families by an additional $2,000 per year by 2016.
Employers and workers have been hit particularly hard by ObamaCare. McDonald's, Boeing, 3M and others have cited the law as a reason for shifting more health care costs onto their workers or possibly eliminating coverage altogether, and small businesses are crying foul over onerous new tax filing requirements.
Because of the new mandates in the Democrats' law, insurance companies have stopped offering plans in many parts of the country, forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their coverage.
Meanwhile, some health care providers, particularly hospitals, are already considering closing their doors or consolidating, limiting choice and potentially driving costs up. Sadly, this was all predicted. The non-partisan analysts at the Department of Health and Human Services warned that the Medicare cuts in the law could drive providers out of business and jeopardize seniors' access to care.
This is unacceptable. But, so was the old system.
Republicans have listened to the American people. We agree that the law should be repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms that actually lower costs for individuals, families and employers. Last year, we offered a plan to do just that.
The bill I introduced (the Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act), and which House Republicans offered as our alternative, was the only bill certified by CBO as reducing premiums across the board, by up to 10%.
By putting an end to junk lawsuits, encouraging small businesses to band together to provide health plans, forcing insurance companies to compete by allowing Americans to shop across state lines, and giving states the flexibility to make changes that best meet the needs of their residents, we can reduce premiums and still provide important patient protections. Those protections include guaranteeing that people with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable coverage, prohibiting insurers from unjustly canceling policies and allowing dependents to remain on their parent's policies through age 25.
We can reform health care, provide better patient protections and lower costs. It doesn't take $1 trillion in new government spending, $500 billion in new taxes and $500 billion in cuts to Medicare over the next decade. It just takes some common-sense reforms, and Republicans have offered them.
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., is in line to become chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee when Republicans take control of the House next year.
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