Washington, D.C. – For weeks, I’ve been working tirelessly with President Trump, Vice President Pence, House Leadership, fellow members of the Freedom Caucus, my colleagues in the Tuesday Group, and other Members of Congress to improve H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. Our shared goal has always been to repeal and replace Obamacare with a better, more affordable health care system.
Since health care accounts for almost 1/5th of the American economy, reform proposals have always been contentious and extremely complex. When the original iteration of this bill was introduced back in March, only 17% of Americans supported it and, regrettably, it did not drive down premiums or costs for consumers. Day in and day out, we worked to improve the proposal to dismantle the Obamacare taxes and mandates that have devastated job creators, caused premiums to skyrocket, and limited options for patients and health care providers.
The adoption of the managers amendment to H.R. 1628 added a series of technical and policy provisions, including instituting work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on Medicaid. The inclusion of an amendment offered by my friend from Alabama, Representative Gary Palmer, created a Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program (FIRSP), which guarantees affordable coverage for people with pre-existing conditions or those in poor health, who get insurance outside of their employer. Most importantly, it accomplishes our number one goal: Driving down premium costs for all enrollees in the individual market. The latest addendum, an amendment authored by Rep. Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, will empower states to seek and obtain waivers from Obamacare’s most costly, premium-spiking insurance mandate.
I remain committed to repealing Obamacare entirely, and this new version of the bill is a strong move in that direction. I commend President Trump, Vice President Pence, Speaker Ryan, and my colleagues for keeping the lines of communication open throughout the process, which has ultimately led us to a better bill. The tradeoffs over the past few weeks have resulted in a plan that drives down costs, encourages competition, and gives every American access to quality, affordable health insurance while protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and young adults.
Obamacare is rapidly collapsing. Rising premiums, soaring deductibles, and dwindling choices are not what the people were promised seven years ago. It’s time to turn the page and save our health care system from this disastrous law.
Although the battle for a full repeal is not over, the adoption of these amendments are a critical step in the right direction and a hard-fought victory for conservatives. Working together, we will return control of health care from Washington back to the states and restore free-market principles so Americans can access quality, affordable health care options that are tailored to their needs. I look forward to continuing the conversation with the Administration and my colleagues to improve the AHCA and deliver on our promises.