I opposed the Affordable Care Act because I didn’t want the government to take on another new entitlement program. However, we now have national health insurance as the law of the land. The economy has moved in that direction. Repeal is unlikely. My job is to make it work.
Existing US health care policy is not cost effective, does not reward a healthy lifestyle, nor does it provide easy access to doctors and nurses. Small business owners and the self-employed are seeing annual health insurance premiums increases of 30 to 40 percent. This is happening even though annual family out-of-pocket responsibilities have increased from an average of $2,000 to well over $6,000 and in some cases $12,000. I have a client family of five (all non-smokers) whose monthly insurance premiums went from $1,070 in 2015 to $1,450 in 2016. They are ineligible for premium subsidies. They expect again another 30 percent increase for 2017. Next year, these clients will drop coverage because they simply don’t have the income to pay the premiums. Congress needs to fix the insurance models as the current structure has led to unaffordable insurance premiums. Halting and reversing this unchecked inflation in premiums and deductibles will be a primary focus of my senate work.
Also, the ACA funding mechanism is badly flawed. The government pays for premium subsidies by direct US Treasury disbursements to insurance companies. Because this funding is permanent, Congress is blocked from doing oversight. Without funding through yearly appropriations, our Senators and House members have no power to control costs.