Across the country Obamacare is failing the American people, delivering high costs, few options, and broken promises. Real healthcare has become unaffordable as premiums and deductibles have spiraled out of control.
Under Obamacare, premiums have risen by over 40 percent on average, and over 100 percent in some places. In 2016 alone, average individual premiums went up by 25 percent. Average deductibles increased in 41 states, with 17 of them facing double digit rate increases.
With high costs and few options, it is no surprise that Americans are fleeing Obamacare. Enrollment fell by 500,000 people in 2017 compared to 2016, and enrollment is millions of people below what was initially estimated. In 2016, nearly 20 million people opted out of Obamacare all together, with 6.5 million forced to pay the mandate penalty.
Obamacare was sold to the American people with rosy promises that have been routinely broken. Americans were promised Obamacare would bring down healthcare costs, but instead Americans continue their premiums skyrocket. Americans were promised Obamacare would increase competition among insurance companies, but more and more are leaving the marketplace. President Obama promised the middle class wouldn’t see their taxes raised “by a single dime,” but the Joint Committee on Taxation found a $377 billion tax hike.
The ACHA reduces costs of health care to Americans, while providing greater choice and flexibility. Insurance companies are banned from increasing premiums or turning away patients from renewing their plans simply because they are sick.
$79 billion is being restored to hospitals who provide a high proportion of care to the most vulnerable, including those on Medicaid and Medicare. $100 billion is being provided to states to help low-income Americans access affordable health care. $15 billion is being provided for the care of maternity, newborn, mental health, and substance abuse. $8 billion is being provided to Americans who see changes in premiums due to their state’s decision to seek a waiver for some community ratings.
Medicaid financing is reformed to send money to states based on its population, prioritizing funding for the most vulnerable and economic downturns. States will have the option of both a block grant and work requirements for certain populations.
Middle and low income Americans will receive monthly, advanceable, and refundable tax credits to help pay for healthcare premiums. Tax credits will range from $2,000 to $14,000 a year and will adjust to make sure older Americans receive proper support.
Americans will have expanded access to health savings accounts (HSAs) by nearly doubling the maximum allowed tax-deductible contribution. In 2017, an individual American would be able to deduct $6,550 in contributions to an HAS.
One-size-fits-all mandates will be eliminated to free States to create marketplaces that promote innovation and competition. Job-based health insurance is preserved and relief is provided from the current law’s “Cadillac tax.”
AHCA will reduce Federal spending while lowering taxes for Americans. The Federal deficit will be reduced as major entitlement reform capping Medicaid spending will save taxpayers nearly $840 billion. Americans, including middle-income and small business owners, will see nearly $1 trillion in tax relief.
Ultimately I would like to see Congress pass a bill that gives flexibility to the states to lower premiums and provide better quality coverage. Most importantly, we need to make sure this legislation does not punish Virginia for being a fiscally-responsible state and for not expanding Medicaid. We will continue to monitor this legislation through the joint subcommittee formed by the General Assembly earlier this year.
It is a privilege to represent you in the Virginia House of Delegates. I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office. I will be spending the coming weeks meeting and visiting with various groups, businesses and constituents giving updates on the 2017 session. You can email me at DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov or call me at (804)698-1059. You can also join the conversation on our social media page www.facebook.com/DelegateMattFariss.