We’re putting you in control of your own healthcare | Opinions


When we talk about healthcare, we’re talking about something that is very personal to people. It’s why I’ve so often looked for ways to put you, the patient, in control of your healthcare. Since Obamacare came into play, however, rising costs, shrinking options and increased bureaucratic involvement has resulted in control being taken away from patients and their doctors.

I’ve heard from thousands of South Dakotans about the burdens placed on them by Obamacare. For instance, a retired teacher from Sisseton saw her premiums increase from $350 to $500 per month while her out-of-pocket threshold increased from $5,000 to $6,000. Higher costs, worse coverage.

A Sioux Falls small business owner had once tried to cover 60 percent of his employees’ premium costs. But after Obamacare, premiums rose to the point that this benefit wasn’t affordable anymore.

A family in Haakon County reached out to me after their premiums increased 200 percent. A family in Milbank saw costs for their son’s insurance rise from $89 per month to more than $300. A woman in Rosholt pays almost $250 more per month for a plan that doesn’t include the benefits she used most often.

While I could go on and on with stories like this, I understand others have felt greater security because of Obamacare’s provisions. For years, we have fought to offer relief to those hurt worst by Obamacare. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, which could have led to rationed care for seniors, was gutted.  The 1099 mandate was eliminated and some of the most burdensome taxes were delayed. Even after the tweaks, however, Obamacare remains beyond repair.

Earlier this month, House Republicans put forward a new vision for health care: one that offers Americans from all walks of life the freedom and flexibility to get the health coverage their family needs. This legislation came about after years of debate and the final stages were completed in close collaboration with President Trump and his administration.

The legislation eliminates Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates. It abolishes 14 Obamacare taxes that take $1 trillion from American taxpayers every decade. This includes taxes on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and medical devices as well as the Health Insurance Tax, based on legislation I authored, which could cost the average family nearly $5,000 over the next decade if it isn’t repealed.

The flawed Obamacare subsidies left many behind, so this legislation replaces them with monthly tax credits for low- and middle-income Americans. These credits range from $2,000 to $14,000 per year, depending on a person’s age and family size. You will finally be able to choose the plan that’s right for you – even if that means cheaper catastrophic coverage, which is something Obamacare didn’t allow you to do. In addition to the tax credit, states will receive new resources to help people out and Health Savings Accounts will be enhanced and expanded to grant you even more flexibility.

At the same time, health insurers still won’t be able to deny coverage or charge more money based on pre-existing conditions and young people will be allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26.

There is a lot packed into this legislation, so I encourage you to read through it yourself at www.ReadTheBill.gop.

Shortly after the language was released, the House Ways and Means Committee, which I’m a member of, had the opportunity to go through section-by-section and debate any edits folks thought should be made to the part of the bill that fell under our jurisdiction. Once all the committees sign off, the full House of Representatives will have the opportunity to debate and vote on the bill. We expect this process to play out over the next few weeks.

As I mentioned before, I understand healthcare is very personal and it’s for this reason I believe you should be in control of it. That’s ultimately why I’m fighting through this process to finally repeal and replace Obamacare.

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We’re putting you in control of your own healthcare | Opinions

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