We need a plan that drives down costs and drives up quality
This week, we learned that Obamacare enrollments are nearly 40% below the original projections—further proof that the American people want nothing to do with this flawed system.
Under the Obama administration, we are becoming a nation of rules—not laws—dictated by a president and a White House who are more concerned with pursuing a partisan political agenda than they are with serving the American people.
Nowhere is the disregard for the laws of our nation—and the failure of our bloated, inept, partisan government—more obvious than in the way the Democrats foisted Obamacare on us. And the way in which it has utterly failed to help Americans get the quality, affordable health care we were promised.
That is why I have said that a critical piece of my blueprint to take back our country is to repeal Obamacare and promote the free market in healthcare.
Obamacare has not lived up to what we were promised. Instead of allowing those with insurance to stay on the plans they knew and liked, millions of people were kicked off their existing health insurance plans and compelled to buy health plans that they didn’t want.
Instead of more affordable care, premiums are rising. In 2014, non-group premiums rose in 45 states and prices are only expected to rise further—in certain places, by as much as 50% by next year. And it’s not just premiums that are rising: Americans are also paying more out of pocket as deductibles rise, too.
We were promised improved access and higher-quality care, but the complexity of Obamacare is preventing the very competition that would allow more and better options. Instead, hospitals, drug companies, and insurance companies are all consolidating, and patients are seeing fewer choices.
It’s clear that the big, the powerful, and the wealthy are winning. We shouldn’t be surprised. The dirty little secret of Obamacare is that it was written in part by drug companies and insurance companies. Now, every single one of those companies is bulking up to deal with that big government.
Meanwhile, the small businesses that create two-thirds of the new jobs in this country are getting crushed by the weight and complexity of the law. Nearly 40% of small-business owners have said that they have pulled back on their plans to grow their businesses because of Obamacare. That’s 1 in 5 cut jobs.
Of course, as with many of our nation’s festering problems, the issue has never been a lack of good, conservative ideas.
We know what we need to do to solve this problem. First and foremost, we have to repeal Obamacare. Then we have to replace it with a plan that protects those with pre-existing conditions in state-run high-risk pools, reduces costs, protects religious liberty and moves us closer to real, genuine competition that drives down costs and drives up quality.
Representative Tom Price of Georgia has developed a plan that would do this. Congressman Price was a doctor before he was in Congress. Unlike the professional politicians who crafted this flawed law, he understands how the healthcare industry works and what it will take to fix it.
We need to allow for the interstate purchase of insurance and increase transparency so that patients can take control of their own care. Every health care provider ought to be publishing its costs, its prices, and its outcomes.
This does not mean that we abandon those with pre-existing conditions. As a breast cancer survivor, I know how important this is. I will ensure that we incentivize the creation of high-risk pools at the state level by providing federal grants for that specific purpose.
These solutions are not new. They are common sense. And yet, the professional political class has failed to solve the problem.
TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.