Issue Position: Sounding the Alarm on Rising Healthcare Costs
Like many Americans, I am concerned with the rising cost of health care. These costs have increased because of the burdensome mandates placed on providers.
Nearly 130 million Americans - almost 80% of all workers in the United States - get their health coverage through their workplace. Another 43 million have no health coverage at all. Any legislation must offer the millions of uninsured Americans increased access to affordable health coverage by making it easier for small employers to offer more benefits while protecting employers from unlimited lawsuits.
Some have proposed expanding government-provided health benefits created to help children of low-income families have access to affordable healthcare to families who already can afford private insurance. Equally as bad as expanding government-run health care is that it would be paid for by slashing Medicare for seniors who depend on these valuable benefits to provide affordable healthcare and prescription drugs.
Heavy-handed mandates from Washington politicians and bureaucrats will only intensify skyrocketing health care costs and leave more Americans without coverage. Working against those who provide jobs and benefits will not lead to insuring more Americans. Rather, working with them is precisely what we ought to be doing.
During my time in Congress I have focused on providing access to health insurance for the millions of uninsured families in Ohio and throughout the nation. When I was chairman of the House Committee on Education & the Workforce, we worked to ensure that employers who voluntarily provide health benefits to their employees are not forced to drop their coverage because of rising insurance premiums.
And since small business employees make up more than 50 percent of those without health coverage, we need to make it easier and more affordable for small businesses to offer health benefits. One proposal that deserves consideration involves association health plans that allow small businesses to pool their resources with other small businesses to purchase insurance at a better rate. In turn, the premiums paid by their employees will remain affordable.
Innovative proposals like association health plans and health care tax credits for employers - another idea under consideration - will assist us in solving the "uninsured problem." Let me be clear: more federal mandates are not the answer. Real healthcare reform means crafting policy that will improve quality, choice, and accessibility for all Ohioans and all Americans. That is our challenge, and that continues to be a top priority for me in Washington.