The U.S. healthcare system remains a world leader. Constantly evolving to meet future generation’s needs, our nation’s vast network of medical professionals and cutting edge facilities continue to improve Americans’ health and life expectancy. Many of the advances in medical care over the last several decades have been accomplished through the innovation and research by our own New Jersey pharmaceutical and health sciences industries.
However, this system is not without its problems. Rising costs have made access to care difficult for many, and impossible for some. Unfortunately, these problems have only been compounded by the passage and the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The government takeover of the nation’s health care system is already producing greater inefficiencies and even higher costs, especially in health insurance premiums. The President’s assurances that “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” and” if you like your health insurance you can keep your insurance” have been proven to be false. Millions of people have been forced into health insurance programs they don’t want and forced to buy coverage for procedures they do not need.
Recognizing many flaws in the Affordable Care Act, the White House has unilaterally delayed or refused to implement dozens of provisions of the ACA. These actions are clearly designed to postpone many of the more painful aspects of the law, including the small business and the individual mandates.
The ACA’s mandates, when they do finally go into effect for both individuals and employers, will result in hefty fines for non-compliance, at a time when our economy had already challenged cash-strapped small businesses and families across the nation.
Additionally, the law contains more than $500 billion in job-killing, higher taxes including: $17 billion in new taxes on Americans who do not obey the bill’s requirement that individuals must buy health insurance whether they want to or not, and $52 billion in new taxes on employers that do not provide health coverage deemed “acceptable” or “affordable” by Washington-based, government bureaucrats.
This law also contains over $569 billion in total cuts to Medicare. These reductions include $202.3 billion from seniors’ Medicare health plans, including massive cuts targeting the extra benefits and reduced cost-sharing seniors receive through Medicare Advantage. 148,000 seniors in New Jersey, including over 35,000 in my Congressional District enjoy the benefits of this innovative program.
Further, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) functions as the government’s chief enforcer for health care reform, monitoring individuals and businesses’ health insurance statuses through mandatory reporting required by the new law.
I support common sense, market-based health care reform and efforts to make quality health care coverage affordable and accessible for every American. Any time a child or a parent goes without the care they need, it represents a very serious personal crisis for that family.
Specifically, I support:
- allowing ‘portability’ of health coverage, so you can take your plan with you from job to job and state to state;
- requiring insurance companies to cover individuals with pre-existing medical conditions;
- encouraging doctors to treat indigent and low-income patients by allowing the physicians to deduct the costs of treatment they provided as a write-off from their federal taxes;
- tort reform to reduce junk medical lawsuits that unnecessarily drive up costs for doctors, hospitals and other health providers;
- increasing support for medical education to prepare more young men and women to become doctors, nurses and health providers to ensure that patients have access to trained professionals;
- reducing fraud, waste and abuse in medical care;
- covering young people until age 26 through their parents’ policies.
I will continue to be a forceful and vocal advocate for replacing the ACA with health care legislation aimed at reducing health care costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first, and ensuring there are enough doctors to care for American families. I believe we can accomplish these goals by empowering patients and doctors, instead of turning more control over to the federal government, and I will continue to push for the right kind of reforms.