Health Care

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Our Nation's Current Healthcare State:
      America has the highest quality medical care in the world, but we must take measures to reduce costs and make access to health insurance more affordable for everyone. The greatest problem facing our health care system is the increasing cost of providing care. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act passed in the 111th Congress failed to effectively address this major concern. We must take measures to reduce costs and make access to health insurance more affordable for everyone. The key to making health care more affordable lies with increasing competition and eliminating unnecessary overhead costs on the system, not with a new government takeover of the health care system. The last thing Americans need is Washington politicians standing in between them and their doctor.
      The recent passage of President Obama's legislation known as the Affordable Care Act has put our nation in a position where healthcare reform is extremely necessary. Not only is the Affordable Care Act leading to higher insurance premiums for many Americans, the policy is also prohibiting the growth of many small businesses and it is preventing doctors, just like yours, from providing the highest level of care to all of their patients. With that being said, our healthcare system is in desperate need of reform, in order to continue providing Americans with the highest quality medical care in the world, at a much more affordable cost.

 Purchasing Across State Lines: 
     
      In order to reduce health care costs we must increase competition. Any viable health care reform legislation must afford consumers the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, which will drastically expand competition in the marketplace and drive costs down. There are approximately 1,300 health care providers in the United States, but due to the prohibition on purchasing insurance across state lines, one or two providers often consume 70-80% of the market share in some states. Allowing all 1,300 providers to compete for business nationwide would blow open competition and would make health care far more affordable for all Americans.

Tort Reform:
      America's health care system is plagued by a constant stream of frivolous lawsuits that result in an unnecessary inflation of health care costs. Doctors are being forced to combat impending lawsuits in two ways, both of which drive up costs on the system, costs that are then passed on to patients:
Malpractice Insurance Premiums: Tort reform would help curb the number of junk lawsuits filed against doctors, which would in turn lower the cost of malpractice premiums and reduce overhead costs on hospitals.
Defensive Medicine: As a result of frivolous lawsuits, many doctors are forced to engage in defensive medicine, a practice that leads doctors to order needless tests or procedures to protect themselves against future lawsuits.  Tort reform would help eliminate the need for the practice of defensive medicine and would reduce health care costs by as much as $200 billion a year.

Legislation:

  • I introduced H.R. 4188, the Establishing Beneficiary Equity in the Hospital Readmission Program Act. This bipartisan bill would require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adjust the readmission penalty based on a hospital’s share of dual eligible patients, low-income seniors, or young people with a disability that are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. While well intentioned, the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP) disproportionately penalizes hospitals throughout the country that treat our nation’s most vulnerable population.
  • I voted in favor of the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act. This legislation repeals the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and replaces traditional fee-for-service with a payment model that rewards physicians for quality rather than quantity
 
 
 
   
 
 
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