This past month marked the five-year anniversary of Obamacare. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to celebrate. Obamacare is proof that Washington does not know best.
President Obama promised his health care overhaul would lower costs and improve access to care. But five years later, all we've seen are rising premiums, cancelled plans, and a failed website with a $1.7 billion price tag. Millions of Americans lost their health insurance plans and were forced to buy new, more expensive policies. Despite the Administration's claims that premiums would decrease by $2,500 for an average family, individual insurance premiums increased by 50 percent in 2014 alone.
I recently introduced a bill called the Health Insurance Freedom Act (H.R. 1664), which authorizes State insurance commissioners to offer group and individual health insurance plans that existed prior to Obamacare. These plans would be purchased outside of the state and federal exchanges set up under current law. Individuals and employers would have the freedom to choose the plans that best fit their needs, including those plans that were cancelled by Obamacare.
The Health Insurance Freedom Act holds President Barack Obama to his pledge that "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan." We need to get the federal government out of our wallets, out of our health care and out of our way. My bill lets States decide which health insurance plans can be offered and increases choices for individuals and families.
I believe we need to fix the broken network of government policies that have made such a mess of health care in America, and I remain fully committed to repealing and defunding Obamacare.
Since Obamacare was signed into law, I have coauthored 37 bills to repeal it, and the House has voted 56 times to repeal all, or parts, of the law. Unfortunately, these efforts have stalled in the Senate where filibuster rules allow Democrat Senators to block legislation. It's imperative that Senate Republicans change their filibuster rule, at least on spending bills, so that the minority can no longer thwart what I believe is the will of the people.
Once repealed, we must replace Obamacare with patient-centered reforms rooted in free market principles that will lower costs. You can read more about the health reforms I support on my website.
Thank you for entrusting me with the privilege of representing you and Texas in the United States Congress.