Hultgren Supports Budget Tool Beginning Health Reform Process
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) today supported House passage of a budget tool to begin the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, with more affordable and accessible health coverage for Americans. The budget measure, called reconciliation, does not immediately repeal the ACA but directs the four health care committees to find more affordable health care solutions for Americans and save billions in taxpayer dollars.
“The ACA was not repealed today, but this vote begins the process of replacing the law with more affordable and accessible health care solutions for Americans,” said Rep. Hultgren. “I do not believe in simply repealing the ACA and walking away. If repeal is to happen, I will work with my colleagues to replace the law gradually over time with a system that offers Americans more and better choices for health insurance. Any replacement of the law must improve plan choice, provider choice and affordability for people in the 14th District or I won’t support it.
“Health insurance coverage should be accessible and affordable for all Americans, but Obamacare has delivered on none of these promises. The ACA has created a marketplace with more expensive and fewer insurance options, and fewer doctor and hospital networks for everyone. Statewide, Illinois residents have had to pay some of the highest premium increases and have faced some of the fewest plan, doctor and hospital options in the country. I have heard countless stories from my constituents who have lost insurance plans, been shut out of doctor networks they rely on for care and faced an effective pay cut with new high-deductible plans. Many in Illinois cannot go to their nearest hospital for care. I supported this measure because I believe we need to do better by people in Illinois and the 14th District.”
This year, three of the seven counties in the 14th Congressional District are left with one insurance issuer, leaving residents of McHenry, Lake and Kendall Counties with a true insurance monopoly. Kane, Will and DeKalb Counties will be left with only two insurance issuers. Individuals with these exchange plans could face proposed rate increases for 2017 of up to 77.3 percent.
In addition, Illinois exchange plans have removed some of the best hospitals and doctors in the state from both their HMO and PPO provider networks, such as Northwestern Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital, leaving the most vulnerable people with the most significant medical needs without the options or the care they need.
Principles for Reform
- House Republican have presented a plan for replacement at better.gop. The reform plan includes:
- More plan choices at a lower cost by giving people control over their health insurance without the ACA’s one-size-fits-all mandates.
- Protections against having your coverage taken away, regardless of age, income, pre-existing conditions, or employment circumstances.
- Investment in cutting-edge cures and treatments.
- Medicare reforms that preserve the program for future generations, while maintaining traditional, government-run Medicare as an important option for seniors.
- Rep. Hultgren believes the answer to shrinking health insurance markets and increasing out-of-pocket costs lies in state innovation, which is why he introduced his own plan last Congress, the State Health Care Options Act, to free states to develop solutions tailored to their residents. He believes a comprehensive ACA replacement should:
- Allow states to develop and implement their own free market solutions to insurance monopolization.
- Offer portable tax credits or subsidies that don't restrict choice.
- Stop locking individuals out of plan changes by making enrollment more flexible.
- Allow individuals and employers to work together to negotiate lower plan prices.
- Use technology like private insurance exchanges to make enrolling in and changing coverage quick and easy.