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Congress Must Pass AHCA to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

March 21, 2017 - 1:15pm

This month marks seven long and daunting years since Obamacare was signed into the law. 

Seven years of broken promises. Seven years of skyrocketing premiums and fewer options. Seven years of tax increases, mandates and penalties. Seven years of families and hardworking Americans having to make the choice between putting food on the table, buying cost-prohibitive health insurance under Obamacare, or facing federal mandates and penalties.
 
This is no way for Americans to live, and we cannot let it continue. We must pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) so we can repeal the failures of Obamacare and replace them with a robust and vibrant health insurance market where people will have more freedom and flexibility to get the affordable plans they need and prefer.
 
Since its enactment, Obamacare has kicked 4.7 million Americans off of their healthcare plans and forced double-digit premium rate increases on families. Today,one-third of U.S. counties have only one insurance provider, and multiple insurers are pulling out of the federal exchanges because of the economic strain Obamacare has on our nation.
 
Even leading Democrats, like former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Chuck Schumer, have admitted Obamacare was a mistake and has left Americans with less coverage.  
 
In Florida alone, premiums will increase by 19 percent this year, and nearly 72 percent of Florida counties have only one or two insurance providers to choose from on the exchange. This is not choice.
 
Instead of kicking Americans off of their plans, the AHCA will kick bureaucrats out of doctors’ offices and put patients back in charge of their own healthcare decisions. This patient-centered legislation will lower healthcare premiums by 10 percent, reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion, cap Medicaid spending for the first time, and provide $883 billion in tax relief for middle-income families and small businesses. 
 
The AHCA further eliminates the individual and employer mandates that impose burdensome requirements on small businesses and families. It also reduces federal mandates and regulations that force healthcare plans to be filled with services people do not want and cannot afford. The AHCA will allow for a seamless transition that provides continuous coverage for those currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges, while helping Americans purchase their own plans through tax credits and Health Savings Accounts so no one has the rug pulled out from under them. 
 
Through this legislation, we are also protecting families and the unborn by allowing children up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans, preventing health insurers from denying coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions, and blocking abortion providers from receiving federal funds. 
 
This a beginning, not an end. We are going through the proper regular order and transparent process with this proposal, and are open to suggestions and ideas, something President Obama and Democrats were unwilling to do when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in the middle of the night. The AHCA is the first of three necessary and needed phases to fully repeal and replace Obamacare. This first phase allows us to immediately get the ball rolling by taking full advantage of the budget reconciliation process that will avoid Senate Democrats’ attempt to filibuster a full repeal and replacement.
 
After phase one is accomplished, we will quickly move on to phase two, which includes administrative actions, notably by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, to stabilize the health insurance market, increase choices, and lower costs. The third phase will then allow Congress to introduce and pass additional legislative policies, such as allowing Americans to purchase coverage across state lines, which by Senate rules cannot be included in the reconciliation bill in phase one. Each phase has a thoughtful and strategic purpose in order to accomplish our long awaited goal.  
 
If we do not act, this disastrous healthcare law will continue in its death spiral, hurting American families and businesses, and threatening the next generation. After seven years of the American people telling us that Obamacare is not working, and after seven years of Republicans telling them we will repeal and replace it, the time for action and to fulfill our promise is now. We cannot, and will not, let this opportunity slip through our fingers. We must unite and put American patients first.

First elected to Congress in 2010, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., is part of the congressional leadership as senior deputy majority whip. 

Comments

HEY EVERYBODY, I'm just as displeased with the GOP plan as everyone else, but HEED CAREFULLY the words of Rep. Dennis A. Ross: He is quite correct to remind us in his OpEd here that we CAN'T pass a good ACA replacement in 1 step: We don't have enough votes... Just like the Democrats needed 2 or 3 steps to pass ObamaCare (step 1: lame bill, and step 2, making it more liberal in "budget reconciliation"), likewise: The GOP can't do it in 1 step: WE must do it in 2-3 steps (step 1: lame bill, and step 2, making it more CONSERVATIVE in "budget reconciliation" as far as less costly, more affordable to taxpayers, and making it more LIBERAL in how it should cover most or all people - thus fixing problems to make both GOP and Democrats happy) -- or, as Dennis Ross puts it, 3 steps: Plz, everybody, RE-read his op-ed, ok? http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/congress-must-pass-ahca-repeal-and-replace-obamacare And then read mine: http://gordonwatts.com/2017-HealthCarePOINTS.html http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/2017-HealthCarePOINTS.html Gordon Wayne Watts

This bill on health care, put forth by Paul Ryan, was doomed at the start. America dose not want another watered down Obama Care. Period! Why 3 phases to get this done. Obama care was done in one sweep. Come on Congress listen to the people. Glad to see no votes to pass this junk.

This bill is terrible! I am sad that you are for this bill and to call you my Congressman!

There are over fifty countries in the world that the government out of taxes pays for universal health care and the US is stand almost entirely alone among developed nations that lack universal health care. One of the keys to a long life is adequate health care, seeing a doctor on a regular basis so that small problems do not become large problems or life threatening- life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Representative Ross could care less if we lose insurance or can not afford to buy insurance, he gets it off the government's tit and we pay with our taxes for his insurance.

Ross needs to stop lying out his teeth. Around 25 million Americans will lose healthcare under Trumpcare. It will also cost more all around to​reduce taxation off the rich. Seeing as 52% of Polk county is making less than a living wage and 22% are impoverished, it's unlikely the break benefits much of anyone here. And y'all who voted for Ross and Trump? Y'all got conned.

Obamacare isn't perfect, but Trumpcare is far worse!

Why are you breaking with the Freedom Party and not opposing the continuation of the Medicaid expansion? Why not hold out for a clean repeal and deal with the effects later? One effect, either way, will be you being voted out of office.

Because he is a RINO, and doesn't care about the people who elected him

The Congressional Budget is run by a conservative Republican. Its report on the Republican legislation indicates that Obamacare is viable, the replacement isn't.

IF THAT'S "the case"...... then Republicans are soon to be "WHIGS" again...and "term limits" will be soon mandated by "We The People" VOTERS who will ensure "ONE-term limits" to ALL Congressional seats; AND healthcare for ALL Americans ( INCLUDING politicians, their families and bureaucrat staff members,...EVERYONE) !!!!!. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [The Democrats have ALREADY "shot themselves in the foot" and are "circling the drain"]... Be careful Congress,...Obama "lit the fuse for revolution",...and TRUMP was "today's revolution",... it can only get worse because of your stupidity and "Momism" attitudes towards your constituents... SHAPE THE HELL UP CONGRESS,...AND STOP TAKING "LESSONS" FROM NANCY "THE HAG" PELOSI AND CHUCK "I'VE GOT MORE HAIR PLUGS THAN JOE BIDEN" SCHUMER ! ! !

If you remove the individual mandate but retain pre-existing conditions how will you possibly pay for this? Also, take insurance companies out of this. Profit motive should never be in healthcare. Until the profit motive is removed Americans will continue to get fleeced by healthcare companies.

WRONG!! Take GOVRERNMENT out of health care and let free market capitalism do its job.

If you were to remove corruption, that wouldn't be a problem. But as it stands uncontrolled lobbying means that the free market capitalism won't work.

Why was the provision that prevents illegal aliens from being eligible for tax credits stripped from the bill?

Because the farmers in Florida want to protect their cheap labor and Ross takes a lot of money from them

Replace it with nothing! The government is not authorized, nor is it supposed to be in the health care business.

I am a member of Liberty HealthShare, a healthcare sharing ministry. I have been informed that the healthcare reform bill circulating in the House of Representatives does not protect our healthcare sharing ministry. As you work with your colleagues and President Trump on the current healthcare reform bill, I urge you to support amending the final bill to protect our healthcare options with the following provisions: 1. Allow members of healthcare sharing ministries to participate in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Several bills (H.R. 1175 and S.403) have such a provision, but the current reform bill does not. Please do what you can to ensure that the final House and Senate healthcare reform bill allow our members to use HSAs. 2. Please be sure the 30% continuous coverage penalty does not apply to members of healthcare sharing ministries. Members that move into or out of healthcare sharing would be hit by this penalty. Under the ACA, our members were exempt from penalties. Please see that an exemption is provided. Simply, we are asking for the continued freedom to make healthcare decisions based on our needs and values. Please make sure (insert Representative's name) strongly urges the House Rules Committee to make these changes to include these two provisions. Thank you and may God Bless you in a special way!

This American Health Care Act is not a good replacement for the Affordable Care Act for anyone. There are many problems with this legislation for many people. It is a total lie to say it is about freedom and affordability. It is about creating a better environment for for-profit healthcare. It really does not matter that you can chose a healthcare plan if you cannot afford it. Costs are too high for healthcare in the U.S. However, it will not be possible to control or reduce healthcare costs until we have a national healthcare plan and single payer. People have got to get over their incorrect fixation that government has to get out of the business of healthcare. We already have much of our healthcare paid for through government with Medicare and Medicaid. However, we need to have all of our people covered and then you can start to put some downward pressure on cost. A capitalistic, libertarian, laissez faire approach makes it easier for for-profit healthcare companies and healthcare insurance companies to operate in a wild west environment. It is immoral to create profit with tax dollars designated for healthcare. It is immoral to create a strong profit taking environment when people's lives are on the line. We all need to stand together to ask for healthcare for all - then we can get sick and be taken care of. Then we can change jobs or be out of work for a while and still be safe. Then we can prevent bankruptcy from a simple medical emergency - that can happen to anyone. As long as we have this little group getting their care this way and that little group getting it another we are all at risk.

I am not forced to get a drivers license or buy a car. Nor am I required to own a weapon. Yet, it is my Right to do so. I am not fined or threatened with incarceration should I choose not to purchase obtain a drivers license. Yet with Obamacare these things can happen. They can force people to choose between good housing and clothing for their family or Healthcare insurance that does not meet their needs OR ability to afford....That is if they want to maintain their home in good condition or feed their family healthy food. I've had to make those choices and I damn those representatives that made me put my family into a different kind of danger than being without healthcare. A danger I had to address every week when I went shopping. Every month when I did my bills. Yes, healthcare is IMPORTANT, but being able to eat healthy foods, sleep in a safe structure, drive in a car with tires that has tread are greater threats to the population because they do occur EVERYDAY. I damn every person that chose to force Obamacare on this nation, because they have put the people of this nation in a greater danger and Obamacare won't cover the expenses .... at least not without selling your house or a kidney.

If you own a car or drive a car, you are forced to have a drivers license. You are forced to have insurance. It's part of the social contract. You don't get to not have insurance and then hurt yourself and go to the emergency room and then not pay your bill. Your choices are making it more expensive for the rest of society so we did the grownup thing and came up with the individual mandate. How good was your insurance before Obamacare. I bet it was worst than now.

What this person is saying is that they are not required to buy a product simply to exist in the country. Or wasn't until the ACA. Car insurance and even a car are not necessary in big cities and, if I don't want to buy a car I don't have to and then I don't need insurance on that car. But now the ACA says just because I'm breathing and in the USA I have to buy a product.

Right you are. Obamacare could be repealed tomorrow , yet the scotus decision that government can FORCE citizens to purchase a private product remains!

what does the CBO say about the financial impact of the bill? When the legislature doesn't include the facts to let people decide for themselves, it is usually because the facts are not pretty...

Dennis Ross is your typical Tea Party idiot who like The Donald does not operate on any plane of reality!! They both are like "Carnival Barkers" who sold all the stupid sheep to "step right up" and don't look behind the curtain because after all the horrible BS they have been feeding everyone about Obamacare...the reality is that...they...have...nothing...to replace it with!!! This bill they are feeding the stupid sheep now is going to raise everyone premiums and cover nothing and your deductibles are going to go through the roof....but it will be too late for the stupid sheep Trump voter cause they will have no one to blame but themselves after that!!!

Why should either of them care what the bill looks like? Neither of them will have to follow it. They both have "golden parachute" healthcare (paid for by us) that is better than anything we'll ever get. I assure you, if Congress and the President were REQUIRED to have the same healthcare as all citizens, they would make sure they got it right.

Ross, that isn't what your recent poll told you. If you repeal you best replace it with something better that keeps people insured.------------ As presently written it'll throw 500k Floridians off insurance and many are/were your voters.

and the majority are illegals or lazy rednecks who want a free ride rather then work for their perks

The ACA works. Ross is one of those who favor less for more - i.e. the private insurance industry which is now structured to be non competitve. That hasn't worked for those who can't afford it (young or old) - or are sick and actually have substantial claims. Insurance is about risk sharing. When pools are small or structured to eliminate risks, or are non competitive, insurance works - for those with money or those that own the insurance company. This whole article is a propaganda piece - and "promises" from this bunch are worthless. Talk is cheap - show me the details. Let me see the reality of your proposed substitute and let the general public analyse the consequences before terminally screwing up what's left of our healthcare structure on what is essentially a wing and a prayer.

Just repeal all of it and let free markets work.

ABSOLUTELY

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