In Case You Missed It: Rep. Gosar Op-Ed | Just the Facts: ObamaCare is Generational Theft
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) penned the following op-ed for for The Hill that dispels some of the most egregious myths that surround the AHCA.
U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) penned the following op-ed for for The Hill that dispels some of the most egregious myths that surround the AHCA.
Even as ObamaCare continues to crumble under patients’ feet, there are partisan and special-interest groups that are hellbent on defending the broken system and spreading disinformation about conservative proposals that will create a functional, affordable and patient-centered health insurance market.
I would like to tell you why I voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and set the record straight about the bill without the emotional delirium the left is whipping up to muddy the waters of the policy debate.
Here are the facts:
The American Health Care Act is good for states. As a dentist in rural Arizona for more than 25 years before being elected to Congress, I understand healthcare from both the medical provider and policy maker perspective. This is why I am so passionate about passing reform that gets the federal government out of the way. The AHCA does this by increasing states’ authority to effectively repeal the most expensive ObamaCare regulations that superfluously drive up the cost of premiums. The healthcare needs of Arizonans are often different from those of Alaskans, Californians or New Yorkers. The AHCA respects those differences and permits individual state governments, not a disconnected federal bureaucracy, to make the critical decisions that impact healthcare regulation.
The AHCA reduces costs for every age group. AARP and other special-interest groups employ alarmist half-truths and gin up hysteria to promote their self-serving political agendas. One of the most nefarious myths perpetuated by these organizations is the bill’s so-called “age tax” on seniors. In reality, the American Health Care Act fixes the age rating rules to stop the generational theft ObamaCare imposed upon the nation’s young adults, and restores market balance to the premiums charged for each age group. ObamaCare tried to hide massive increases to the cost of care by requiring young, healthy adults to pay artificially inflated premiums in order to subsidize older Americans. This type of cost shifting onto the backs of our children and grandchildren is not only unfair, it is wrong. The AHCA lowers premiums for all ages by instituting reforms that actually lower the costs of care, not just hide them by making your kids pay for it. In fact, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability, seniors over 60 could see up to 45 percent lower premiums under the AHCA while young adults and other age groups would see savings of up to 50 percent.
The AHCA covers preexisting conditions. Despite fear mongering from the Democrats and blatant lies from their allies in the media echo chamber, the AHCA does, in fact, maintain the federal standard that no individual may be denied insurance coverage due to a preexisting condition. Period. And it does so in a more effective and cost efficient manner than ObamaCare. Similar to the cost-shifting hijinks of the age rating, ObamaCare did nothing to actually lower the cost of care for the extremely ill, it just attempted to cover it up by charging everyone more. That is not smart or sustainable. Under ObamaCare, everyone was priced as if they were already sick. Under the AHCA, everyone is priced as if they are healthy, and the additional costs for those patients with known high risks (such as a preexisting condition), are subsidized by state and federal dollars through high-risk pools. This is a much smarter and cost efficient way to not only control costs for those with expensive medical needs, but also to prevent premiums for healthier patients from spiraling out of control due to a lopsided risk pool. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 50 percent of the nation’s healthcare costs come from just 5 percent of the population. The AHCA will provide the sickest patients with a variety of affordable insurance options and safety nets while keeping premiums low for the general population as well.
We must deal in facts. ObamaCare is not working. Not for Arizona or America. While I still support a full repeal and replacement of ObamaCare, the revised AHCA finally opens the door to free-market solutions that empower individuals to have more control over healthcare decisions. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues in Congress as well as President Trump to deliver the healthcare reform we were sent to Washington to deliver.
Congressman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. represents Arizona’s 4th District. He is a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus and has more than 25 years of experience as a healthcare provider.