Government mandates, inadequate cost containment, high drug prices, and lack of price transparency are increasing premiums and deductibles, making insurance unaffordable. Ten years of the Affordable Care Act resulted in skyrocketing health insurance premiums and unsustainable spending.
In Idaho, annual premium costs have gone from $1,915 in the few years before Obamacare to $5,267 in years following the implementation of Obamacare. The average Idahoan might pay $12,000 for a simple shoulder surgery at one hospital and $22,000 for the same surgery at a different hospital.
Fortunately, Idaho has set the standard for showing how healthcare can be successful for patients and families.
To continue improving American’s health care, I support implementing “patient-centric alternatives” to lower costs, while giving Idahoans more choice. These include Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Direct Primary Care, Charity Care, Medi-Share, Medical Memberships, Association Health Plans, the ability to buy insurance across state lines, expanded use of disease management and wellness programs, integrated technology, and lessened administrative rules.
In Congress, I have supported specific measures to move our country away from the Obama-era path towards socialized medicine, and instead to a system that puts medical decisions in the hands of patients, families, and their doctors-- not bureaucrats in Washington or health insurance conglomerates.
Below is a list of specific initiatives, bills, and letters I have supported in Congress to reach these goals. Click on the links or contact my office for more information.
Fixing Global Free Loading Act (H.R.2209): The U.S. pays for most of the drug development and innovation around the world, and yet, its drug companies face foreign government subsidies when selling their products overseas, leading to higher prices at home. This initiative will help to make sure the U.S. is compensated for all the drug development and innovation it is responsible for.
Health Coverage Choice Act (H.R. 4811): To allow various Short-Term Limited Duration health plans.
American Healthshare Plans Act (H.R. 6712): Amends ERISA to allow medi-share, share ministry, and other types of health plans
Health Savings Accounts for All Act (H.R.8032): Eliminates the contribution limits for people who want to contribute to their Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)
Amdt. 461 in Appropriations bill H.R. 3055: Secure $5 Million for inpatient mental health care for veterans to be able to remain close to home, family, and friends in VA medical facilities
Letter to support Medicare Advantage Program: Offers general support for the Medicare Advantage (aka, Medicare Part C) program by seniors.
Letter to support the Trump Administration’s expansion of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) by employers: HRAs are plans set up by employers to cover medical expenses, as requested by the employee. Both the employer and employee can obtain tax deductions for the money put in and used for the medical expenses. They help small businesses that cannot afford major health plans to address medical costs for their employees. They also increase choice for employees and competition in insurance.
Letter to Secretary Azar and Administrator Verma defending Idaho’s options for short-term health plans.
There have also been initiatives that I simply cannot support. Here are some of my no votes and my reason for doing so.
(H.R. 1010): VOTED NO: Bill would eliminate Short-term, Limited Duration Insurance plans that have moved forward in Idaho and proved extremely successful.
(H.R. 987): VOTED NO: Bill would eliminate choice of health plans, increase wasteful spending that did NOT go to patient care, and re-instate Obamacare regulations that increase cost, but didn’t offer healthcare for patients.
(H.R. 986): VOTED NO: Bill would limit waivers the federal government offers states to be able to experiment to find lower cost, customizable health plans, and other options.
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