The American people spoke with a clear voice about what the two major goals they wanted accomplished through healthcare reform: lower costs and coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Instead, Congress rammed through a deeply unpopular bill that actually increases costs and achieves half of its coverage expansion by dumping people on a flawed Medicaid program. Congressman Roskam has been fighting all along for the sort of commonsense reforms that will bring down costs and increase access to coverage.
Repeal and Replace
We cannot afford the healthcare law that was passed earlier this year. It sets up a dramatic new entitlement regime that will actually increase insurance costs. The law is paid for by budget gimmicks such as double-counting Medicare and Social Security savings that would make any honest accountant blush.
Congressman Roskam knows that people's idea of healthcare reform is not forcing people onto Medicaid, but rather reforms that deliver for our need.
* Liability reform
It became very clear in the reform debate that one of the significant cost drivers in healthcare is the practice of defensive medicine, where doctors have to order unnecessary tests or procedures to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits.
A recent survey by the Illinois State Medical Society revealed that nearly 90 percent of doctors felt compelled for legal reasons to order unnecessary tests.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that liability reform could save the federal government over $50 billion.
Rather than addressing this issue to bring down costs, the Majority in Washington protected the trial lawyers that reap big paydays from these lawsuits.
* Slash the fraud that plagues Medicare
Medicare pays out $60 billion of fraudulent and wasteful claims each year, an affront to taxpayers and a disservice to the care our seniors depend on.
Congressman Roskam authored legislation to apply credit card style anti-fraud technology to Medicare payments, a proposal backed by the White House and endorsed by AARP, National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association, and Citizens
Against Government Waste.
* Empower people to purchase insurance across state lines
We can increase competition and drive down costs by expanding the marketplace and allowing people to purchase insurance across state lines, forcing insurance companies to compete for more customers.
* Expand the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
By giving people an account to save for planned or unexpected healthcare spending, we can take pressure off of families.
Over ten million Americans are enrolled in HSAs, the fastest-growing insurance option in the country.
These sort of health plans can provide affordable coverage and empower people to make good health decisions.
In fact, the grocery store Whole Foods pays 100% of the premium for its full time workers' coverage and also deposits money into their HSAs. John Mackey, the Whole Foods CEO, says this allows employees to spend how they like on their health and wellness.
He also says their "plan's costs are much lower than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction."