My wife Tracy is currently a family practice doctor, and for 24 years before that she helped deliver hundreds of newborns into this world. We know first-hand the benefits of the patient-doctor relationship and the critical importance of a patient's ability to make his or her own decisions regarding their health and well-being. When President Obama's health care law was passed, our number one concern was the amount of government intrusion created between a patient and their doctor.
70 percent of North Dakotans did not support Obamacare at the time of its passage. Unfortunately, it seems each week brings a new reminder as to why it needs to be repealed. Americans are not only forced to purchase health insurance they may not want, but the law does nothing to lower health care costs or increase access. Instead, it adds another $569.2 billion in tax increases and cuts $523 billion from Medicare. The tax increases will hurt employers at a time of desperately needed job growth and Medicare can't afford these cuts.
I firmly support the repeal of President Obama's job-killing, tax-raising health care law. I was an original supporter of the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," and I will continue to fight for the full repeal of Obamacare. Health care is not something that the government can effectively take over. The health care industry represents approximately one-sixth of our economy, and a government takeover will harm the health care system and continue to add spending we can't afford. We need to repeal Obamacare and seek patient-centered, free market-based reforms.
Improving our health care system will help America be more competitive in a global market and allow our businesses to grow and expand. A few key areas to begin include increased insurance competition across state lines, regulatory reform, increased fraud enforcement, reducing the practice of defensive medicine, tort reform, and empowering individuals-not government-to have more choice, access, and personalization of their health insurance options.
Effective Medicare reform will not make cuts to those currently or about to participate in the program, will restore the $500 billion cut from the program by Obamacare, and will not raise taxes.
I will use my private business and public service background to make sure we create an improved approach to Medicare so that the program remains solvent and exists for generations to come.
To help those in need and to prevent its financial collapse, we simply cannot continue with business as usual. If unchanged, Medicare is on track to be bankrupt by 2024. The program's unfunded obligations are much larger than that of Social Security and we must take corrective action.
As a first step, I will work to reverse the $500 billion in cuts to the program as a result of Obamacare. An improved approach to Medicare must maintain the agreement reached with those currently using or about to use the system, and preserve the program for future generations. I support retaining the Frontier Amendment to help ensure a fair payment system for hospitals in North Dakota and other rural states. An improved Medicare, one built for the long-term, must give more choices to consumers, reduce fraud, seek alternatives to government-managed policies, and will ensure that the safety net is provided for those in need.