Healthcare issues affect us all and determining the best means of addressing them is an important part of my work in Congress.
Before coming to Washington to be your member of Congress, I owned and operated a dental practice in Northern Arizona for more than 25 years. Serving the community as a health care provider, both by practicing and interacting with other doctors and physicians throughout Arizona, I learned the best health care is not only focused on preventative services, but based in the local community.
America needs health care reform to lower costs, increase access, and enhance patient choice, and as your Congressman, I am committed to reform that is both patient-centered and market-based. That is why I strongly oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as "Obamacare". Instead of responding to American’s calls for greater choice and more affordable options in the health insurance, President Obama’s colossal overhaul of the American health care system delivered a growing list of 20,000 pages of regulations that restrict choice, drive up insurance premiums and put more bureaucracy between you and your doctor.
The ACA is a maze of bureaucratic red tape, massive tax increases, handouts, and sweetheart deals for certain big corporations at the expense of others. It is the opposite of what America needs to fix its healthcare system. Since the President's bill was signed into law, the full implications of the Act are becoming more evident, and there is increasing bipartisan opposition to it.
The mandates and regulations included in this law have driven insurance companies out of the market and put millions of Americans at risk of losing their private individual health insurance. At least 4.7 million cancellations went out, despite repeated claims from the President that “If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare. Period.” I continue to hear from countless constituents about how they are losing their healthcare plans, and are being forced onto the ACA exchanges with higher costs for them and their families.
I support a full repeal of the ACA and believe we must create a system which empowers patients to be in control of their health care, not one that empowers government bureaucrats. One of my first votes as a member of Congress in 2011 was in favor of H.R. 2, which sought to repeal the ACA in its entirety. Since then, I have voted 57 more times to fully repeal or defund various provisions of the law. Some may ask “Why this relentless effort against Obamacare?” It is because this law truly is a quagmire of bureaucracy that is poorly written, ill-conceived, and very costly to the average American.
As your Congressman, I will continue to work toward full-repeal of the ACA. In addition to full-repeal of Obamacare, our nation needs leaders who are working towards finding solutions to create a health care system that actually works for America. This is why I have championed several reform proposals to address our health care woes.
I will also continue to put forward thoughtful and innovative proposals to create a health care system that actually lowers the cost of services, increases competition in the market place and puts patients and their doctors first.
Competitive Healthcare Insurance Reform Act
In addition to my proposals for comprehensive reform, I have also pursued targeted action to increase competition and patient choice in health insurance. One example of this effort is bipartisan legislation that I have introduced entitled the Competitive Healthcare Insurance Reform Act. This bill would amend a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 which exempted the insurance industry from the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act—acts that have the purpose of ensuring fair competition. This broad exemption was intended to assist newly established insurance companies set sustainable premiums by permitting data sharing between insurance companies. However, after 70 years, it is apparent that this unbridled antitrust exemption has had an injurious impact on consumers in the form of artificially higher premiums, unfair insurance restrictions, and harmful policy exclusions. My bill is an important first step towards increasing competition in health insurance markets, and eventually will assist with ushering in broad healthcare reform. CLICK HERE to read more.
Dental Insurance Fairness Act
Too many Americans are still unable to get vital dental care ensuring good oral and overall health. As a practicing dentist for more than 25 years, and one of three dentists in Congress, I know firsthand that dental benefit plans are not serving the best interests of consumers. A rise in unfair practices which limit coordination of insurance benefits has resulted in dental beneficiaries not receiving the full coverage to which they are entitled.
As a result, I have introduced the bipartisan Dental Insurance Act. This patient-centered legislation will improve access to quality dental care and empower consumers to make their own choices regarding oral health based on what is best for themselves and their families. My bill supports reforms that rightfully return the focus of health care to the patient, not their insurance company. CLICK HERE to read more.
Repealing the Medical Device Tax
One extremely controversial provision found in Obamacare is the medical device tax. As a result of this legislation, Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code now imposes an excise tax of 2.3% of the sale price of certain medical devices and defines a “taxable medical device” as “any device (as defined in section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act) intended for humans.” The few exceptions to this broad definition are devices which are available to the general public at retail stores for individual use.
I am an original cosponsor of H.R.160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015, which would repeal the medical device tax. This bipartisan legislation passed the House on June 18, 2015, by a vote of 280-140. This tax is so unpopular that even 46 Democrats voted in favor of H.R.160. It is my hope that this bill will pass the Senate and be signed into law in a timely manner.
American Healthcare Reform Act
I am a coauthor and original cosponsor of H.R. 2653, the American Health Care Reform Act (AHCRA). This bill is a pragmatic, practical, and portable free-market alternative to the current health care system. This bill fully repeals the ACA and spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and allows small businesses to pool together to negotiate for better rates. H.R. 2653 levels the playing field between people who receive their insurance through their employer and those who purchase it on the individual market by creating a standard tax deduction for health insurance. This plan expands Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and protects individuals with preexisting conditions.
Premium Reduction and Insurance Market Reform Act
The Premium Reduction and Insurance Market Reform Act (PRIMR Act) is another targeted bill I have introduced that will deliver real cost savings to consumers in states that chose not to set up a state exchange by addressing the three most burdensome Obamacare insurance regulations: age rating restrictions, benefit mandates and minimum actuarial value requirements. This bill will lower premiums for an estimated 21 million Americans. Only full repeal can solve all of Obamacare’s problems, but my legislation provides an attractive alternative for states and ensures that future repeal efforts and health care reforms will be built on a solid foundation.
The estimated savings this Act would bring to residents in the 34 states that chose not to set up a state exchange can found using the info graphic HERE. On average, this targeted legislation will save young people 44% on insurance premiums, while pre-retirees will still save 7%. In Arizona, these savings translate to more than $1,000 for young-adults and over $400 for those approaching Medicare eligibility. The PRIMR Act is endorsed by Heritage Action. CLICK HERE to read more.
House GOP Doctors Caucus
As a doctor with more than 25 years’ experience in rural Arizona, I understand how the delivery of healthcare actually works in the real world. One of the primary reasons I first ran for Congress in 2010 was my frustration with the way Washington was damaging healthcare with the regulation-laden ACA. Doctors and healthcare providers have an indispensable perspective on how polices and regulation affect the delivery of health services to their patients. This is why I am a member of the House GOP Doctors Caucus. The caucus is comprised of 18 medical providers in Congress who utilize their medical expertise to develop patient-centered healthcare reforms focused on quality, access, affordability, portability and choice. We have used our combined expertise and influence to successfully remove red tape between Medicare patients and their doctors; protect seniors from dramatic rate increases as a result of the flawed Medicare “Sustainable Growth Rate” reimbursement policy; and develop numerous other pragmatic patient-centered policy proposals that have been utilized in multiple Obamacare-alternative legislative proposals. Inside the Beltway, there is a lot of lofty language about improving the healthcare system through policy and regulation, as team of practitioners with real-world experience, the Doctors Caucus is an effective source of practical policy solutions that are centered squarely on the patients we serve. Click HERE to learn more about the Doctors Caucus.