Ten years ago this month, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, putting Washington bureaucrats at the helm of one of the most deeply personal aspects of our lives: healthcare.
Here’s what followed:
- Facing the threat of the individual mandate, millions of hardworking Americans were forced to purchase government-dictated health insurance they did not want, need and, oftentimes, could not afford.
- Families who were promised that if you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare, found the exact opposite to be true.
- Premiums for individual coverage more than doubled between 2013 and 2017. They went up again in 2018.
- The number of available insurance options in many states, including Texas, between 2016 and 2018 was cut in half, leaving more counties with no choice of insurance provider.
There’s no doubt—Obamacare failed the American people.
The question is: Where do we go from here? Will we finally create a true free-market healthcare system centered around patients? Or will we continue on a path to full government control over every aspect of medicine?
For the Democratic presidential candidates who galloped to the far left during the primary season, their answer is a one-size-fits-all single-payer healthcare system, otherwise known as Medicare for All. Avowed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the remaining contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, has made Medicare for All one of his signature issues.
But what Sanders and all supporters of Medicare for All fail to acknowledge is that countries with a single-payer healthcare system often face severe shortages of medical staff, equipment and resources. Imagine trying to contain a deadly virus under those circumstances.
Democrats’ entire argument boils down to two words—more government. And that’s exactly the approach favored by former Vice President Joe Biden, arguably the Democratic front-runner at this time. He wants to actually expand Obamacare’s reach by adding a public option.
But if we have learned anything from Obamacare, we know more government is not the answer to America’s healthcare problem. More government is the problem. More and more rules and regulations coming from bureaucratic offices in Washington, D.C.–that is the problem.
As Democrats push for full government control of America’s healthcare system, I’m fighting to put patients and their doctors back in control of their healthcare.
Since I was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013, I have led the fight to repeal every word of Obamacare. In 2017, as a part of the historic tax cuts, my colleagues and I were able to successfully repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate. That was no small feat. Repealing the individual mandate, the cornerstone of Obamacare, was a major step in the right direction, but of course, the fight is not over.
That’s why I, along with Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced the Personalized Care Act, a free enterprise solution that brings us one-step closer in improving our healthcare system for all Americans. Our bill makes Americans’ healthcare more portable, accessible and tailored to meet their unique needs. It does so by dramatically expanding health savings accounts—the pre-tax savings tool that millions of Americans use to cover the costs of their healthcare.
Expanding HSAs empowers consumers to save for the costs of health insurance premiums and medical care, giving millions of Americans the freedom to make the healthcare choices that best meet their needs.
It’s an approach that moves America away from a federal healthcare takeover and toward a patient-centered system.
Democrats trust the government to run your healthcare. I trust you and your doctor.
Healthcare reform should lower health insurance premiums and expand freedom and choice so workers and families can choose the healthcare that’s right for them—not be forced into the healthcare that’s dictated by federal bureaucrats.
Now is the time for Republicans in Congress to deliver on our healthcare promises to the American people. We must get the job done. The Personalized Care Act moves us one step closer.