A Better Approach by Congressman Mike Simpson

Posted on 12/16/13 in Uncategorized, No Comments

A Better Approach

Idaho Falls Post Register

By Congressman Mike Simpson

December 15, 2013

I read Mr. Donald Carey’s recent column in the Post Register with great interest, and felt the need to respond. When Mr. Carey says that Republicans must offer up specific proposals to replace Obamacare, he is absolutely right. When he says those proposals have not been offered, he is simply wrong. I have been vocal about exactly how Congress should replace Obamacare for years.

As we all know, most of the recent debate in Congress has been about repealing or defunding Obamacare — and with good reason. Obamacare moves us toward a government-controlled and government-centered system that every Republican in Congress, and most Idahoans, believe is the wrong approach. While we work to repeal Obamacare, it is important that Republicans spell out exactly what policies we support in its place.

That is why I have cosponsored HR 3121, the American Health Care Reform Act. This comprehensive bill would institute real reform, reduce health care costs and improve the health system for all Americans.

Specifically, this bill:

Fully repeals Obamacare.

Expands access to health savings accounts by increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can place into their account to cover health care expenses.

Creates competition by allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines and enables small businesses to pool together to increase their buying power.

Equalizes tax treatment for those who purchase health insurance through the individual market and those who receive a plan through their employer. This standard deduction would result in a tax cut for most Americans.

Protects individuals with pre-existing conditions against discrimination.

Reforms medical malpractice laws to limit economic damages and trial lawyer fees while still protecting patients.

I have long supported efforts to implement effective medical malpractice reform and put an end to junk lawsuits by placing caps on non-economic damages and limiting attorney fees. Such legislation would save billions by reducing abusive litigation expenses and by stemming the practice of defensive medicine, which increases costs and acts as a de-facto tax on all health care consumers today.

There are many other reforms I support, including prescription drug re-importation, legislation to repeal exemptions for insurance companies from federal antitrust laws, the elimination of taxes on medical devices and lifting the ban on rural hospitals’ ability to obtain discounts for “orphan drugs.”

These are not new ideas– many of them already have bipartisan support and should be implemented the minute Obamacare is repealed by Congress.