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 obtain better access to affordable health insurance. To do this, we must foster a system that makes the price of health care honest and transparent while supporting marketplace competition to control costs. We need to focus on reforms that improve affordability and provide flexibility, not impose mandates that result in lost jobs and threaten the economic security of working Americans.
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.
The Future of Care:
Health care is personal, but it’s easy for decision makers in Washington, D.C. to forget that, even during the best-intentioned discussion. I am eager to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to tackle issues such as drug costs, chronic disease management, telehealth, rural access, surprise billing, health innovation, and financing revolutionary treatments. The way I see it, the future for medical care in our great nation is brighter when we work together.
There are several crucial conversations being had in Washington D.C. around the future of health care in the United States. The problem, it seems, is that few of them strike the balance between optimism stemming from increasingly efficacious medicine and innovative technology, with the burdensome structure of the current system. Ultimately, my goal is to make meaningful changes to how we approach and deliver care in order to equip future generations with the means to live healthy.
Below are a handful of resources that have especially caught my attention:
“Artificial intelligence’s (AI) transformative power is reverberating across many industries, but in one—healthcare—its impact promises to be truly life-changing. From hospital care to clinical research, drug development and insurance, AI applications are revolutionizing how the health sector works to reduce spending and improve patient outcomes.
“The total public and private sector investment in healthcare AI is stunning: All told, it is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021, according to some estimates. Even more staggering, Accenture predicts that the top AI applications may result in annual savings of $150 billion by 2026.”
Kaiser Family Foundation - How do health expenditures vary across the population?
“In a given year, a small portion of the population is responsible for a very large percentage of total health spending. We tend to focus on averages when discussing health spending, but individuals’ health status – and thus their need to access and utilize health services – varies from year to year and over the course of their lifetimes. In fact, very few people have spending around the average.”
More on Health Care
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) released the following statement applauding introduction of H.R. 14, House Republicans Commitment to Defeat the Virus and Keep America Healthy Act. This legislation is comprised of provisions introduced by Members on the Ways and Means Committee, Energy and Commerce Committee, and Appropriations Committee.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressmen David Schweikert (AZ-06), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Mike Kelly (PA-16), and Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced the introduction of the Safe Testing at Residence Telehealth (START) Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide robust at-home COVID-19 testing for seniors and other vulnerable populations
Concerns over healthcare and retirement security will be top of mind for voters over 50 years old in the upcoming election, lawmakers said Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) led a bipartisan letter with the Arizona delegation to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to review their Extreme ad Uncontrollable Circumstances policy. Currently, CMS policy does not acknowledge the impact of all disaster types on beneficiaries and health plan operational and clinical systems, including the long-term impacts of wildfires that have taken place across Arizona.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) released the following statement applauding the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for taking action towards funding the Coccidioidomycosis Collaborative Research Centers (CCRC) program, aimed to provide extended research for the improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Valley Fever.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) released the following statement after co-sponsoring H.R. 1407, the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019. This legislation provides timely access to Disability Insurance benefits for individuals diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) led a letter with colleagues in the Arizona delegation requesting an immediate influx of federal resources to help the state continue to combat the coronavirus through increased testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing support, and emergency funding for local initiatives to respond to and mitigate further spread of COVID-19.
Americans continue to grapple with the skyrocketing cost of health care. Whether it’s paying for life-saving prescription drugs, innovative new therapies, surprise hospital bills, or routine medical care, these costs are part of our everyday lives. For millions of Americans, these costs will feel even heavier as they grapple with the economic fallout caused by our current public health crisis.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) introduced legislation to provide financial relief to millions of American families facing the burden of high health care costs. The proposal would reduce the current 7.5 percent income threshold for the medical expense deduction to 5 percent for years 2020 and 2021, and make the 7.5 percent income threshold permanent for all other years.
Leaders of the House telehealth caucus introduced legislation Thursday to permanently open up access to telehealth services for Medicare patients.