In this newsletter, I would like to further discuss the continuing Obamacare train wreck, take a quick look back at House Republicans’ “A Better Way” agenda, and discuss what Congress must address when it reconvenes early next week.
Open enrollment for Obamacare began last week, and as many of you know, premiums for many of the exchange health care plans are set to surge in 2017. According to government data, the damage is not limited just to Texas, where many will see 25% increases. Depending on where people live, many hardworking families will see increases as high as 145%. While these premium spikes are terrible, there is still more bad news because many American families are facing the prospect of fewer providers to choose from. Many providers are abandoning the market and as of today, 17 of 23 (74%) Obamacare co-ops have failed, with more on the brink of collapse. It is estimated that one in five consumers will have only a single Obamacare insurance provider for coverage.
The Obama administration says that people whose health care plans are set to increase can simply switch to a lower premium plan. This shows a complete disregard for some of the most vulnerable in our communities in two key ways. First, lower premium plans have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket limitations, making it more expensive to purchase health care services. Second, many lower premium plans have limited provider networks, meaning that persons who have an existing doctor may lose access to that doctor if he/she is not part of that limited network. Americans should not have to face the dreadful choice of paying higher premiums to keep their doctor.
Congress must replace Obamacare with a system that empowers consumers with choice, improves access to care, and lowers the cost of health care. In our “A Better Way” agenda, House Conservatives have put forth a plan to reform America’s health care system so that it puts patients first. This plan includes many of the ideas that we put forth in the Republican Study Committee’s American Health Care Reform Act. It is important that we repeal and replace Obamacare with a market-driven, patient-focused health care alternative which lowers costs, expands access, increases competition, and encourages innovation.
A Better Way
As I traveled the district over the last several weeks, an overwhelming majority of our constituents agreed with the sentiment that is being heard across the nation – our country is on the wrong path. Rather than continuing the status quo, House Conservatives have been working on building an agenda to restore confidence in America’s federal government. As we have discussed throughout the last several newsletters, our “A Better Way“ agenda focuses on tackling our six big challenges: National and Homeland Security, Tax Reform, the Economy, Health Care, Poverty, and Restoring Constitutional Authority. We can meet these challenges by:
- Working to strengthen America’s national security and confronting the foreign and domestic threats of the 21st century;
- Implementing a new tax code that is flatter, fairer, and simpler;
- Increasing access to affordable, high-quality health care for more Americans;
- Promoting a stronger and more robust economy;
- Reducing the cycle of poverty and improving upward mobility; and
- Stopping executive overreach and reestablishing the separation of powers.
Since this plan was introduced this summer, the House has been working to implement portions of our “A Better Way” agenda. The House will continue to promote the conservative principles of this agenda and provide deliverables that will help hardworking American families. I believe that we have a great framework to lead our nation down a path to restore Liberty, Opportunity, and Security. To learn more about the “A Better Way” agenda, please visit better.gop.
During this Fall District Work Period, I traveled throughout the 17th Congressional District to attend meetings, tour facilities, and speak to various groups. This afforded me the opportunity to get a sense of what is on the minds of all our constituents. I will take this feedback to Washington and continue working to ease the burdens Washington has placed on hardworking American families.
Congress will reconvene on November 14th, and there is still a lot work to be done before the end of the year. National Security is the top issue for many Americans, and Congress must pass the National Defense Authorization Act to set spending priorities for our military and ensure our men and women have the resources they need to keep our nation secure. It my hope that we can also pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which helps researchers and innovators unleash the power of 21st century science and technology to find cures for some of the world’s most devastating diseases including Alzheimer’s, cancer, and terminal illnesses. Additionally, Congress must pass a government-funding bill before current funding expires on December 9th. As Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, I will be working to ensure that conservative priorities are included in this funding bill.
As always, I encourage each of you to continue praying for our country during these challenging times, and for our military personnel and first responders who protect us each day.
With great respect,
Member of Congress