September 12, 2019
“Whether it’s Biden’s, Sanders’, Harris’ or Warren’s one-size-fits-all healthcare proposal, Democrats are determined to take away work-related health insurance. We should never put a government agenda ahead of our freedom to choose what works best for us.”
The 2020 Democratic Agenda: Take Away Your Work-Based Healthcare
By: U.S. Sen. John Barrasso
Sept. 12, 2019
The Washington Examiner
American healthcare is known for two things: high quality and high costs.
When people in Wyoming and across the country talk with me about their healthcare, they don’t complain about the quality, but about how much they have to pay. The government estimates that by 2027 health spending will consume one out of every five dollars in people's pockets.
Americans pay more for just about every healthcare product and service. It costs us more to see a doctor, more to fill a prescription, and more to stay in the hospital.
American insurance premiums are skyrocketing not because we use more healthcare, but because we have to pay a lot more for our care.
This despite Democrats’ repeated promises that former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law (misnamed as the Affordable Care Act) would control costs. On the contrary, between 2013 and 2017, average Obamacare premiums more than doubled. Working families are paying the price for Democrats’ failed healthcare law.
Now, less than a decade after the law’s passage, the same Washington Democrats who brought you Obamacare are admitting its failure. They are asking the public to trust them one more time to finally fix the cost problem.
Democrats running for president seem to hope that we have a collective case of amnesia.
Democratic candidates pretend to have substantive policy differences. While their presidential debates may make for good theater, we know Democrats only want one thing: more government control. That means more money coming out of everyone's pockets.
Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Sen. Bernie Sanders. He recently admitted: “Of course some people will pay more in taxes. Are people going to lose the private insurance that they have? Yeah.”
Sanders plans to spend an additional $32 trillion to implement his one-size-fits-all “Medicare for all” scheme. But first he wants to take away on-the-job health insurance from 180 million workers and their family members.
Former Vice President Joe Biden also wants to take away work-related health insurance benefits, just more gradually. He prefers to start by creating a new government-provided health insurance plan.
Never mind that Obamacare used that same logic to create its government-backed co-ops. Of the 23 co-ops the Obama health law created, only four survive. These cost taxpayers billions of dollars. In unveiling his one-size-fits-all proposal, Biden promised you could keep your health plan. Sound familiar? That Obama pledge was the 2013 PolitiFact “Lie of the Year.”
Sen. Kamala Harris has also rolled out a health care gimmick. Her plan allows private companies to sell health insurance, but only if it mirrors the government plan.
When asked her views on ending private health insurance, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said, “I’m with Bernie on Medicare for all.”
Clearly, Congress needs to focus on bringing down the cost of the care Americans receive, not on taking away on-the-job insurance coverage we like.
Republicans are listening, and Republicans are acting.
Early in the Trump administration, we repealed the Obama health law’s insurance mandate. This means patients will no longer be taxed for failing to buy insurance they can’t afford.
We are committed to protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and to bringing down costs. The Trump administration already has expanded the types of coverage patients can buy. Now the administration is moving forward with greater price transparency and the expanded use of health reimbursement arrangements.
Republicans in Congress also are moving a number of reforms. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee recently approved the Lower Health Care Costs Act, which would outlaw the practice of surprise medical billing. It also includes language to bring drug costs down.
This is on top of Congress eliminating the pharmacy gag rule. As a result, customers will always know what the lowest prices are for their medications.
Republicans will not rest until patients are paying much less for healthcare.
Meanwhile, Washington Democrats are promoting an unaffordable government-run healthcare proposal that will dramatically raise taxes on working families. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it could lead to delayed treatment and technological advances.
Whether it’s Biden’s, Sanders’, Harris’ or Warren’s one-size-fits-all healthcare proposal, Democrats are determined to take away work-related health insurance. We should never put a government agenda ahead of our freedom to choose what works best for us.
Sen. John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, is an orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.