As I travel through our Second Congressional District, some of the most frequent issues that I hear about from Maine residents and small business owners are the burdens they experience because of our Nation’s broken health care system under ObamaCare. For years, Maine communities have suffered because of a harmful, government-run health insurance market that has hurt businesses, killed jobs and driven up costs for Maine families.
Since coming to Washington, I have taken action and offered real solutions to these job-killing health care policies. I have worked to repeal the individual mandate, strike down ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), eliminate the Medical Device Excise Tax and restore the 40-hour work week from ObamaCare’s 30-hour rule.
In May 2015, I sent a letter to the Chairmen of the three House committees that directly oversee health care policies with 14 important and needed revisions to the health care law. I sent my 14 revisions to then-Chairmen Paul Ryan of the Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Fred Upton of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Chairman John Kline of the Education and the Workforce Committee.
This year, Speaker Paul Ryan announced the creation of six committee-led task forces within the Republican Conference to focus on and develop an agenda for major priorities for Congress. Among the task forces is the Task Force on Health Care Reform, which is focused on finding solutions to fix our Nation’s health care.
In light of Speaker Ryan’s new task force initiative, I sent a letter to every Republican in Congress, including my colleagues in the U.S. Senate, highlighting my 14 important reforms to the health care law. These 14 solutions include:
- Require hospitals and doctors to provide patients with the estimated costs of health care services and procedures so they can shop for the best care at the lowest price. This will reduce monthly health insurance premiums by driving down the underlying cost of health care.
- Allow insurance companies to share savings with patients when services and procedures of comparable quality are purchased outside of the health care plan’s network at below average costs.
- Allow individuals, families, and businesses to shop across state lines for the health insurance plans that fit their needs and pocketbooks.
- Remove the mandates for unnecessary and expensive health care services and procedures to be covered by all health insurance plans.
- Allow affordable high-deductible and low- premium health care policies to be offered by insurance companies.
- Allow small businesses and other organizations to band together while negotiating the purchase of the health insurance plans that best meets their needs at costs they can afford.
- Allow insurance companies to charge much less for health care plans sold to younger individuals and those who make healthy lifestyle choices.
- Require insurance companies to provide coverage to individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
- Require health insurance plans to be portable when workers change jobs.
- Allow states to establish reinsurance pools that provide affordable health insurance to those who need high levels of health care services.
- Allow health insurance policies to be purchased with pre-tax dollars.
- Expand the use of tax-free health saving accounts by allowing the funds to pay for monthly premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses.
- Allow families to buy primary health care services directly from their doctors of choice, and then purchase inexpensive high-deductible policies to insure against catastrophic illness.
- Do not allow the IRS to fine or penalize individuals who choose not to purchase health insurance.
Maine families and small businesses deserve a health care system that works FOR them, not against them. I am fighting for real solutions to the job-killing health care policies that are hurting our families, small businesses and communities. I am hopeful that the House will consider these revisions to the health care law as my colleagues and I work to allow a viable and effective free-market health care alternative for Maine families and small businesses.