Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States released its decision regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes called "Obamacare". Rehberg, who was the only member of the Montana delegation to oppose the law was also the only member of the Montana delegation to hold open, public listening sessions before the vote -- he had 36 such meetings -- and keep a record of whether Montanans contacting his offices were for or against the law. He has voted to repeal the full law and led the charge in the U.S. House to de-fund implementation of the law. He has also voted to repeal certain damaging portions of the law, including new 1099 reporting requirements for small businesses and an excise tax on medical devices.
"We need a check and balance. This fight is a long way from over because the Constitution gives final authority to We the People on election day. Despite this ruling made possible with the help of two freshly confirmed Obama appointees, this law has got to go. We can't afford its $2.5 trillion price tag, our economy can't sustain its $1.25 trillion tax increase and our health care system can't survive its top-down government meddling or massive cuts to Medicare. For the vast majority of Montanans who never supported President Obama's health care law, and who made their opposition obvious to anyone willing to listen, this unfortunate decision makes the November election all the more important."
Rehberg continues to support meaningful, common sense health care reform designed to reduce and control the cost of health care while improving access. While the 2,700-page Obamacare law was crafted behind closed doors without input from the American people, many worthwhile reform proposals were completely ignored. They include:
Lawsuit Reform/Defensive medicine -- the practice of medical professionals being overly cautions to avoid the possibility of future litigation -- is a serious driver of systemic medical costs around the country. Notably missing from President Obama's law was any effort to reform the legal system so that injured patients have access to legal remedies without subjecting doctors to frivolous and costly lawsuits.
Small Business/Association Health Plans -- Large corporations and unions are able to negotiate deals with private insurance companies because they buy in bulk. The same bargaining power should be available for small businesses and associations who want to band together to negotiate better rates in bulk.
Allow Health Insurance to Be Sold Across State Lines -- Currently, you can buy auto insurance across state lines, but not health insurance. Allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines increases the number of choices for consumers. More choices mean lower prices, and lower prices mean improved access.
Preexisting Conditions -- States like Montana have had high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions since the 1980s. Rehberg supports efforts to expand the role of high-risk pools.