Next week marks the two-year anniversary since President Obama's terribly flawed health care law went into effect. This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a new estimate showing the gross cost of the president's health care law growing to $1.75 trillion. I have repeatedly called for the law to be repealed, reiterating that more than 1,000 waivers have been granted exempting more than 2.5 million individuals from the law's insurance mandates. Many states -- including Georgia -- have sought waivers in advance of the higher premiums, fewer benefits and more regulations that will be imposed.
I have co-sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at repealing provisions of the health care law. On February 2, 2011, I voted to repeal the health care law altogether as an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization bill. Unfortunately, the amendment failed by a vote of 47 to 51.
There are ways to find common ground, but forcing legislation through Congress that the American people have already rejected was not the way to go about it. Instead, Congress should start over with a step-by-step process that includes increasing coverage of preventative and wellness care, which will help control the cost of managing chronic diseases and drive down the cost of treating largely preventable conditions. I think we can all agree on the need to eliminate insurance coverage rejection due to pre-existing conditions and cancellation due to developing a condition. Additionally, it is vital that we enroll all of those already eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program in those programs. Finally, I support repealing the prohibition of insurance sales across state lines to increase portability and competition as well as allowing small businesses to pool together to form association health plans. I believe these are the keys to expanding access to health insurance.