More than six years after the Affordable Care Act—commonly known as Obamacare—was forced into law on a party line vote, it is clear that this law is not able to live up to its most basic promises. Instead, Obamacare is resulting in higher premiums, dropped coverage, and a weaker economy.
For me, the health care debate is all too familiar—a similar program, called TennCare, failed in Tennessee less than 20 years ago. Initial cost estimates for TennCare were low, but for 10 years we watched our Medicaid program’s cost grow unsustainably to the point of nearly bankrupting our state.
As a registered nurse for more than 40 years, I recognize the need to address problems in our health care system. But rather than a top-down federal rewrite of one-sixth of our economy, we need to expand access and work to lower costs with a more patient-centered, market-based approach.
I was proud to author the first billed signed into law by President Obama that successfully repealed a healthcare provision of Obamacare, saving taxpayers $13 billion, and I have continued voting to defund and repeal this law in full. I am additionally a proud supporter of House Republicans’ “Better Way” blueprint for health care, which offers an alternative vision to Obamacare and uses conservative principles to enact meaningful reform. Our plan spurs competition by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, enacts common-sense medical malpractice reform, and protects individuals with preexisting conditions. You can read more about the plan here.
While the debate over Obamacare is oftentimes polarizing, there are other areas of health policy in which I believe we can find broad, bipartisan consensus. For example, I supported a series of House-passed bills to combat the nationwide opioid addiction crisis, authored bipartisan legislation to expand access to telemedicine, and have joined with Republicans and Democrats alike as a co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus, which seeks to give a voice to family caregivers and offer solutions to help Americans find the health care solutions for aging loved ones that best suit their family’s needs.
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More on Health
Washington, D.C. – Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order to reform the healthcare system by expanding choices and alternatives to Obamacare plans, and increasing competition of providers to drastically lower costs for consumers. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the following statement:
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Trump administration announced that religious ministries, non-profits, businesses and school entities would no longer be forced to choose between violating their moral and religious beliefs or violating the law under the Obamacare contraceptive mandate. In 2011, the Obama administration required employers and insurers to cover contraceptive methods, including abortifacients, under the Affordable Care Act even if they opposed on moral and religious grounds.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), along with Reps. Diane Black (R-TN-06), Trent Franks (R-AZ-08), Vicki Hartzler (R-MO-04) and Chris Smith (R-NJ-04), held a press conference announcing that the House of Representatives will vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Increasing Telehealth Access to Medicare Act (H.R. 3727), authored by Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), passed unanimously in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. The bill increases access to telehealth services for Medicare Advantage enrollees and allows plans to build telehealth services into their bids, giving them the option of offering these services as a core part of their care model.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3164, granting seniors with end-stage renal disease access to home dialysis therapy under Medicare. The bill is included in the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 and was passed by voice vote. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a member of the U.S.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan piece of legislation granting seniors with end-stage renal disease access to home dialysis therapy under Medicare. The bill, H.R. 3164, is included in the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 and was passed by voice vote. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the following statement:
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a nurse of more than 45 years and member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 1130, the Fair Medicare Hospital Payments Act of 2017, alongside Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL-07) and 13 other cosponsors, including every member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation.