Health Care

The Affordable Care Act has confused an already complex and wasteful healthcare system. Americans need more choices and a competitive insurance marketplace, not mandates. We all want a system where people are treated fairly and given the support they need to remain healthy.  We want those who become ill to receive the best care possible and care that is affordable.

In 2016, Arizona had eight health insurers offering plans on the Obamacare exchanges. By the end of the year, four insurers had entirely exited the market, leaving many uninsured or unable to afford coverage altogether. The fact is Obamacare devastated Arizona’s insurance market instead of allowing for increased competition, innovation, and access.

Imposing mandates on individuals and businesses while taxing procedures, payment plans to doctors, and everyday medical devices is not a recipe for improved healthcare access, affordability or quality. Improving healthcare for every American starts by improving access to information so consumers can truly understand and compare the cost of care.

We in Congress must do everything we can to help working families and individuals obtain better access to affordable health insurance.  The Affordable Care Act confused an already complex and wasteful health care system. I believe every American should have full control of their health care, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. It is my goal to improve care for every American by expanding access to information so consumers can truly understand and compare the cost of care, while fostering a system that makes the price of health care transparent and supports competition to control costs. The resources below highlight a few of my concerns with the Affordable Care Act and the current state of the health insurance market:

- Kaiser Family Foundation | 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces

…the largest increases in the unsubsidized second-lowest silver plan were Phoenix, AZ (up 145% from $207 to $507 per month for a 40-year-old non-smoker), Birmingham, AL (up 71% from $288 to $492) and Oklahoma City, OK (up 67% from $295 to $493).

- USA TODAY | Obamacare Hurts My Small Business

My firm, which has fewer than 20 employees, recently received our renewal package for next year's health insurance plan. It read: "Your current coverage is no longer being offered, but we've provided you with a great alternative" -- an estimated 48% increase in premiums. That translates into approximately $1,676 in added costs per year for every individual covered on our plan ($6,704 for a family of four). That's approximately $44,000 in added annual costs that could otherwise be used to hire a college graduate. 

 

What I'm Fighting For:

Health care is personal, but it’s easy for decision makers in Washington, D.C. to forget that, even during the best-intentioned discussions. I am eager to continue working with my colleagues in a bipartisan manner to make it easier for Arizonans to receive the care they need and deserve. That is why I’m fighting to lower out-of-pocket costs and premiums, increase the adoption of innovative technology, support critical medical research, improve cost transparency, and move towards more value-based care that prioritizes outcomes over volume.

As the lead Republican of the House Telehealth Caucus, I am proud to fight for policies that promote the adoption of telehealth that meets the needs of patients and providers. My colleagues  and I passed my legislation during the COVID-19 pandemic to expand access to telehealth services, and now we are continuing to work to make those policies permanent going forward. Telehealth has proven to be valuable regardless of where one lives and should continue to play a role in our health care ecosystem. Our system depends on constant innovation that equips medical professionals and their patents with the tools they need to heal, I will fight for them.

I am also committed to protecting those with pre-existing conditions. An individual should never be denied coverage or be unable to afford their health care because of their condition(s). I remain steadfast in my support for guaranteed issue and pre-existing coverage protections. This includes advocating for other innovative solutions such as high-risk pools and plan portability.

 

The Future of Care: 

In this past year, we have seen the incredible achievements made in medical research and innovation.. The work being done by the scientific community has the potential to dramatically change the lives of patients and their families, and there has never been a time with more cause for optimism. I work every day in Washington D.C. to share these stories of great opportunity.

We must continue fighting for policies that help develop the next mRNA vaccine, cancer treatment, chronic disease management tool, medication adherence technology, remote patient monitoring, and other innovative resources to create a healthier society. Our very own state is becoming a worldwide leader in medical innovation, and we must ensure that our policies protect that innovation. Technology disruptions in health care will help us proactively manage our health, improve care delivery, and rein in out-of-control healthcare expenses in our country. Our demographics demand we get creative in how we deliver care – I am committed to being part of the solution.

As a member of the Ways and Means Committee Health Subcommittee, I am fighting for reforms that improve affordability and provide flexibility, not ones that impose mandates. I support putting our health care back on a sustainable path that will serve us today and for generations to come.

 

What I’m Reading:

How COVID-19 Technology May Help Fight Cancer in the Near Future

 

Beyond COVID, The Future Of MRNA Is Bright

 

mRNA technology promises to revolutionize future vaccines and treatments for cancer, infectious diseases

 

Telehealth:

Medicare and Telehealth: Coverage and Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Options for the Future

 

Medication Adherence:

Cost of Prescription Drug-Related Morbidity and Mortality.

 

Technology:

Google Strikes Deal With Hospital Chain to Develop Healthcare Algorithms

 

Study To See If Apple Watch & iPhone Can Predict Illnesses Like COVID-19

 

Forbes Insights - AI And Healthcare: A Giant Opportunity

 

This AI Could Help Wipe Out Colon Cancer

 

Kaiser Family Foundation - How do health expenditures vary across the population?

More on Health Care

July 26, 2021 In The News

July 26, 2021 - A new bill before Congress aims to expand the use of telehealth, remote patient monitoring, digital therapeutics and other connected health programs through demonstration projects for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Advanced Safe Testing at Residence Telehealth (A-START) Act of 2021 aims “to expand access to innovative health care technologies and reduce health care costs,” says US Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), who introduced the bill last week.

July 22, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today. Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) released the following statement after introducing the Advanced Safe Testing at Residence Telehealth Act of 2021 (A-START), legislation to expand access to innovative health care technologies and reduce health care costs.  

April 30, 2021 In The News

A bipartisan group comprising half of U.S. senators has reintroduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021.  

The act would expand coverage of Medicare telehealth services and make some COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, among other provisions.  

"The last year has shown us that telehealth works, it’s popular, and it’s here to stay," said Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in a statement.

April 29, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06), Co-Chair of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus, along with fellow Co-Chairs Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06) and Rep Mike Thompson (CA-05) and caucus member Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06) announced the introduction of the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act. This bipartisan and bicameral comprehensive package expands the use of telehealth services, delivering cost effective and efficient care to patients.

April 6, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) hosted a virtual roundtable with health care experts to discuss the benefits of expanded access to telehealth services at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roundtable

February 26, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) offered three amendments to the House Rules Committee to improve the flawed $1.9 trillion spending bill that includes COVID-19 relief set forth by House Democrats. The amendments as introduced would:

February 5, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) joined fellow Arizona delegation members Reps. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), and Andy Biggs (AZ-05) in writing a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supporting the State of Arizona’s request for an emergency infusion of 300,000 vaccine doses and to increase doses weekly from the state's federal allotment. 

February 4, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert released the following statement after being appointed to serve on the Ways and Means Select Revenue (Tax) and Health Subcommittees in the 117th Congress.

January 19, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06), founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus, along with caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), and caucus member Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06) announced the reintroduction of the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act.

January 19, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) announced the re-introduction of the Safe Testing at Residence Telehealth (START) Act of 2021. This bipartisan legislation would provide robust at-home COVID-19 testing for seniors and other vulnerable populations.