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Congressman Crawford's Weekly Column - Arkansas Plan Will Not Fix ObamaCare


Location: Washington, DC

Three years ago President Obama signed his massive takeover of our Nation's healthcare system into law. Since then the Department of Health and Human Services has been busy writing thousands of new regulations to begin implementing the mandate. Today, states like Arkansas are being forced to make tough decisions about paying for expanded healthcare services.

I applaud Arkansas state legislative leaders who are doing their best to make lemonade out of lemons and try to cope with a bad situation. However, I feel the Arkansas Plan, which can only receive temporary approval at best, is destined to worsen the fiscal outlook for our state. As the reality of ObamaCare's unsustainable and skewed funding formula becomes the subject of review as Congress grapples with the national debt crisis, states that sign up for ObamaCare, even under waivers, will find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.

In my view, the current no-win situation in which state legislators find themselves will become significantly worse if they set up a government-funded private insurance program and are forced to pull it back in a few years after the entire provider system has plugged into it. Perhaps a better approach would be to petition Congress to delay ObamaCare for two or three years and ask the hard question -- isn't it the height of recklessness to add $1.3 trillion in new entitlement spending in the middle of a debt crisis?

This week I encouraged all state legislators who are concerned about our Nation's debt crisis to set aside the Arkansas Plan and call on Congress to delay the multi-trillion-dollar ObamaCare entitlement program. The greatest crisis facing our Nation today is our $17 trillion national debt. The costs of ObamaCare will continue to grow over time and will make our Nation's debt rise even higher.

Without a doubt, America's healthcare system needs reform. Healthcare needs to be affordable and accessible. Patients should be empowered and not overburdened with rules and financial penalties from Washington. We need smart reform that enacts medical liability reform, allows individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, expands personal health savings accounts and ensures access for people with pre-existing conditions. We do not need a healthcare mandate from the federal government that creates a new entitlement program that will add to our national debt.

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