Reforming and modernizing our health care system is a top priority for South Floridians and citizens across the country. With over 40 million uninsured Americans, this is not a partisan issue, rather, it is one that Americans must come together to solve. Floridians are ready for real health care reform and it's up to Congress to deliver the best solutions possible.
There has been great debate over the past few months over the different plans being considered. One in particular that Congressman Rooney supports and has cosponsored is appropriately named the "Empowering Patients First Act". This bill puts the patient first, by granting access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans. The bill provides real affordable solutions such as:
* Making the purchase of health care financially feasible for all Americans by incentivizing private insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions, protecting employer-sponsored insurance, and shining light on existing health care plans.
* Granting greater choice and portability to the patient by expanding the individual market by creating several insurance pooling mechanisms. Creates a health plan and provider website so people can "shop" around for insurers that work for them.
* Establishing doctor-led quality measures, ensuring that you get the quality care you need. The plan reimburses physicians to ensure the stability of your care, and encourages healthier lifestyles by allowing employers to offer discounts for healthy habits through wellness and prevention programs.
* Finally, the bill addresses tort reform, one of the driving reasons for increased medical costs.
Many people are pointing to "universal" health care or the "government option" as the answer. If a government option is implemented, bureaucrats, not doctors will be making medical decisions for patients. If the government begins to tell doctors whom they must see, what they can prescribe and how to "best" administer care, the patient-doctor relationship will turn into a patient-government relationship. Americans do not need to face increased wait times in the hospital, nor do they deserve a significant decrease in their quality of care.
Medical decisions should be determined by doctors and patients, and that is why the Congressman supports a market-based health care system that would better serve Americans. Patients should have the power to walk out of the waiting room and find care elsewhere if they are dissatisfied with the service provided.
There are no quick fixes for our health care system, but it can be done. Market-oriented reforms can give health care consumers more options and power when it comes to their health needs.