Over the past week, I had the opportunity to attend several meetings, speak to a host of different groups, and tour facilities all throughout the district. In addition to highlighting some of these events, we will continue to further examine the House Republican’s “A Better Way” agenda, spotlight legislation I have been working on, and inform you as to how you can help honor local veterans.
The 17th Congressional District is home to many businesses that provide economic opportunity and growth to our communities across the district. Last week, I had the chance to tour the newly renovated Walmart Supercenter in Bellmead, Wayfair’s service and operations center in Bryan, and Koppers Somerville Plant, as well as speak at the Bryan - College Station Regional Association of Realtors membership meeting. These tours and meetings provide me with the opportunity to further discuss the work we are doing in Washington and get important feedback about the issues local employers care about the most.
During my visit to St. Joseph’s Hospital, I was honored to receive an award from The Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance honoring my work in Congress to repeal Obamacare's Medical Device Tax.
A Better Way – Health Care
Obamacare promised to lower health care costs, but Americans have seen their insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs rise dramatically. We were promised that we could keep our plans, yet millions of Americans saw their plans cancelled completely. Obamacare was supposed to improve access to care; however, prohibitively high costs mean that for many, paying the individual mandate fine is still more affordable than buying health insurance. For these reasons, House Conservatives remain committed to implementing truly affordable, patient-centered health care reform based upon competition and free market principles.
The health care portion of our “A Better Way” agenda provides a blueprint for reform which increases access to affordable, high-quality health care for more Americans. It starts with the full repeal of Obamacare. Once that is complete, we will begin to implement reforms that continue to protect those with pre-existing conditions, expand access to the health care market by allowing people to purchase health care across state lines, and increase the maximum contribution limit to health savings accounts. Additionally, this plan clears out the bureaucracy to accelerate the development of life-saving devices and therapies. It also works to protect Medicare for today’s seniors and preserves the program for future generations. All combined, these proposals work to lower costs, expand access, encourage innovation, and put patients back in the driver’s seat of their own health care decisions. To learn more about the health care portion of our “A Better Way” agenda, visit better.gop.
Health Coverage State Flexibility Act
As described above, Obamacare has been riddled with problems since its inception. Under current law, patients, who obtain insurance through Obamacare but fail to pay their premium, have a three-month grace period before their coverage lapses. The intent of this Obamacare provision was to prevent people from losing their insurance because they failed to make a monthly premium payment. Despite the intent, some Obamacare enrollees are using this provision as a loophole to get free health care. Using what is known as an advanced premium tax credit, some people can simply pay for only nine months of health insurance, yet receive a free month of coverage and game the system for coverage over the remaining two months. Those same patients can then reenroll the following year and start the cycle all over again. Gaming the system like this creates an imbalance in the risk pool which in turn drives up the cost of coverage for everyone else.
To close this loophole, I have introduced the Health Coverage State Flexibility Act. This commonsense legislation simply changes the length of Obamacare’s three month grace period to at least one month or state levels. This change better aligns the grace period required when enrollees fail to pay their premiums with grace periods that are provided for under state law.
TX-17 Congressional Veterans Commendation
Our military men and women give so much for our freedom and liberties. In addition to their military careers, there are many veterans that also give back to our local communities. For the past four years, we have carried on a tradition of honoring local veterans who have served both our nation and community honorably during their military and post-military careers with the awarding of the TX-17 Congressional Veteran Commendations. The veterans, who receive this award, are nominated by fellow members of our community. If you know of a deserving veteran, I invite you to please consider nominating them for this unique recognition. We will announce the recipients of the award on Veterans Day. To learn more about the commendation and to nominate a veteran please visit Flores.House.gov
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