GOP seeking health-care fix

last week, House Democrats spent their time on a publicity stunt in a misguided effort to restrict Americans’ constitutional rights through arbitrary government lists with no due process.

House Republicans were at work, offering to expand freedom through a common sense plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Since Obamacare passed six years ago, we’ve seen health-care premiums, deductibles, and costs all rise, while access, choice, and quality all fell.

Not once has public approval of Obamacare fallen below 45 percent, Americans want to be in charge of their own health care, not Washington.

Simply repealing the law isn’t enough. Health care was broken before Obamacare, which is why our House Republican plan makes positive improvements to how Americans get their healthcare.

When drafting our Obamacare replacement plan, we kept four guiding principles in mind:

— More choices and lower costs.

— Real protections and peace of mind.

— Cutting-edge cures and treatments.

— Strengthening Medicare.

To lower costs for all Americans and offer more choices, our plan offers a refundable tax credit to help pay for health insurance for those without access to employer coverage, Medicare, or Medicaid. There would be no federal requirement to purchase health insurance, but those who do would receive a tax break. If the tax credit is for more than the insurance you choose, you could keep that money to save for future healthcare needs.

Our plan also allows health insurance to be sold across state lines, which would increase competition and drive down costs. And by reducing the red tape from Washington, insurance companies could offer more flexible plans that fit your needs, not President Obama’s.

We also include crucial medical liability reforms to reduce healthcare costs. Too often, doctors order unnecessary tests for defensive purposes. Our plan would enact proven reforms to cap non-economic damages and reduce the amount of money wasted on frivolous lawsuits and defensive medicine.

The House Republican plan protects patients by ensuring no American, regardless of age or health status, can be denied coverage. We prohibit sudden cancelations and allow dependents to stay on their parents’ plan up to age 26.

To effectively lower costs long-term, we must invest in finding cures and treatments for the nearly 10,000 diseases we currently don’t know how to treat. America is at the forefront of cutting-edge medical discoveries and if we can use our innovation, technology, and entrepreneurial spirit to find solutions, we will not only improve the lives of millions of Americans but also save billions of dollars in future health-care spending.

To accomplish this, our plan includes many of the common sense solutions found in the groundbreaking 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year. This includes building a strong National Institutes of Health to support scientists and researchers on the cutting edge of discovery while removing barriers to their collaboration.

Finally, our health-care reform plan protects and preserves Medicare. To help pay for all of its costly regulations and subsidies, Obamacare created an “independent board” tasked with “finding savings” in Medicare. That’s code for government bureaucrats cutting care for seniors. Our plan would abolish this board and preserve Medicare by allowing seniors the opportunity to choose from competing private plans alongside traditional Medicare, offering more choices and cost savings.

Your health care is one of the most personal and important investments you can make. For that reason, the House Republican plan for health-care reform strives to get Washington out of the way and put you in control of your own care.

Robert Pittenger, a Republican from Charlotte, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes all of Robeson County.

Robert Pittenger, a Republican from Charlotte, represents the 8th District in the U.S. House, which includes all of Robeson County.

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