A better way than the ACA


President Obama should have named his health care law the “Shock and Awe Care Act,” because that’s the annual reaction of hardworking American families as they face another year of steep cost increases.

In the latest of a string of failures for President Obama’s health care law, Blue Cross announced a 24 percent rate hike for Obamacare customers in North Carolina.

To make matters worse, Blue Cross is the only health insurer offering plans in the vast majority of North Carolina, including Iredell, Mecklenburg, Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson, Cumberland, and Bladen counties. This is due to the departure of other insurers who lost too much money through Obamacare.

We simply can’t afford another year of the un-Affordable Care Act.

Now, in an attempt to coerce insurance companies to continue participating in an unprofitable government-run marketplace, President Obama wants taxpayers to help bail out insurance companies for their Obamacare losses.

In response, I wrote a Sept. 22 warning letter reminding the Obama Administration that Congress twice passed laws prohibiting taxpayer bailouts of insurance companies (President Obama twice signed that law) and emphasizing the full commitment of Congress to stop any potential backdoor taxpayer bailout for insurance companies that lost money through Obamacare. My letter was co-signed by 45 colleagues, including three committee chairs and 22 subcommittee chairs.

“Any attempt to settle these cases out of court as a backdoor way to direct taxpayer dollars to insurance companies through the Judgment Fund will be met with the strictest scrutiny from Congress … We remain committed to exhausting all legislative and judicial options to ensure the power of the purse vested in Congress under the Constitution is respected and maintained,” my letter states.

Following my letter, Speaker Paul Ryan on Oct. 14 took legal action, filing an amicus brief on behalf of the House of Representatives to officially oppose the Obamacare bailout for insurance companies.

This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch joined my effort to block President Obama’s backdoor bailout of Obamacare by sending a similar warning letter to the Obama Administration.

President Obama, there is a better way.

Instead of continuing down the path of higher premiums, higher deductibles, skyrocketing costs, less access, restrictive choices, and poor quality, House Republicans have offered a better way for health reform. Our Obamacare repeal and replacement plan offers hardworking American families lower costs and freedom of choice.

By reducing unnecessary regulations and red tape, our plan allows insurance companies to offer more choices so you can pick the plan that’s best for you, not what President Obama thinks you need. We also allow health insurance to be sold across state lines, increasing competition and lowering costs.

To further drive down costs, we include crucial medical liability reforms. Too often, doctors order unnecessary tests for defensive purposes. Our House Republican plan would enact proven reforms to reduce the amount of money wasted on frivolous lawsuits and defensive medicine.

To combat the rising cost of prescriptions drugs, our “better way” plan includes reforms to cut red tape at the FDA to allow more cures and treatments to come to the market, providing patients more options and lower costs. We also support crucial medial research to capitalize on America’s world-class innovation, technology, and entrepreneurial spirit in finding new treatments and cures for diseases.

As your representative in Congress, I will continue to conduct proper oversight to ensure no taxpayer dollars are used to bail out Obamacare while also fighting for legislative solutions to provide hardworking American families with the highest quality healthcare at the most affordable price.

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Robert Pittenger, a Republican from Charlotte, represents the 9th District in the U.S. House, which includes all of Robeson County.

Robert Pittenger, a Republican from Charlotte, represents the 9th District in the U.S. House, which includes all of Robeson County.

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