Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 18, 2014

READER POINT OF VIEW: ObamaCare does more harm than good

By U.S. REP. MARLIN STUTZMAN
Goshen News

---- — President Obama ended 2013 on a sour note, when his unforgettable promise that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it” earned Politifact’s “Lie of the Year.” With 2014 scarcely underway, the American people understand that ObamaCare is making things worse and grow more frustrated with each broken promise.

ObamaCare was sold as a benefit to hardworking Americans and to help the uninsured. It was supposed to offer a fair deal but as the law takes effect, the facts tell a different story.

Promises about keeping your plan, staying with your doctor and lowering your costs are crumbling under the weight of ObamaCare’s new regulations, mandates and red tape. Across the country, millions of middle-class families and small businesses bear the burden of these broken promises.

ObamaCare’s cancellations outnumber sign-ups and the numbers make it clear that this law has done more harm than good. Although nearly 5 million Americans lost their insurance thanks to new regulations, only 2.2 million selected plans through ObamaCare’s exchanges by the end of December.

Back home in Indiana, ObamaCare has kicked more Hoosiers off their insurance plans than it has enrolled. While 108,000 Hoosiers lost coverage, only 30,443 selected a plan at last count, and the administration refuses to clarify how many have actually enrolled. In other words, for every Hoosier who found an ObamaCare plan, three found cancellation letters in their mailboxes. ...

Across the country, top hospitals have started to opt out of ObamaCare by accepting fewer carriers. In the coming months, Americans could lose the physicians they trust, as Washington bureaucrats make decisions that restrict choices and limit hospital networks.

Sadly, the combination of ObamaCare’s soaring premiums and increasing deductibles will force many Americans to pay more for less. The cost of ObamaCare’s new, $8 billion a year tax on health insurance companies will be passed along to small businesses in the form of higher premiums. Meanwhile, younger Americans who opt for ObamaCare’s least expensive plans will face the realization that high deductibles could force them to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.

Americans deserve better. After all, we’re a nation founded on freedom and a people dedicated to finding opportunity for all. ObamaCare’s command-and-control system has canceled coverage, driven costs higher and put Washington bureaucrats between patients and their doctors. It’s time for the White House to stop defending the indefensible. It’s clear that ObamaCare’s system of mandates, taxes and regulations cannot work. ...

I’ve joined more than 100 of my House colleagues in co-sponsoring H.R. 3121, the American Healthcare Reform Act. Our common-sense legislation lowers costs by allowing families to purchase their health insurance across state lines where companies compete for their business. We cut down on the junk lawsuits that drive patients’ bills higher through attorney fees and expensive malpractice insurance.

We expand access to personalized Health Savings Accounts that let patients save pre-tax dollars for their own heath care decisions. We make health insurance portable by reforming the tax code to create a more level playing field. And as states like Indiana have found innovative ways to lower costs and cover individuals with pre-existing conditions, we encourage, not restrict, these proven state-based solutions.

It’s time to change course with reforms that empower patients, expand choices and lower costs. We’ve put solutions on the table and are ready to work on ideas that put Americans first. We can move forward when Washington realizes what families already know — ObamaCare is doing more harm than good. The American people can’t afford another broken promise.

Marlin Stutzman has represented Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District since 2010. He sits on the Financial Services Committee.