RSC Members in the Media

Rep. Huizenga Op-ed: Health Care Solutions Should Be Based in Personal Choice, Not Government

Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02)

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The Holland Sentinel, Apr 24, 2012 | comments
I appreciate The Holland Sentinel providing me the opportunity to respond to Marcia Meoli’s column in Tuesday’s edition, “Let’s hear solutions, not potshot.”

There is no doubt that the current health-care system is far from perfect. However, it is becoming clearer by the day that President Obama’s health care law is only exacerbating many problems in the system such as increasing the cost of care, while allowing the government to make unprecedented inroads into the relationship between patients and their doctors.

One of my first votes as a member of Congress was to repeal the new health care law. I voted to eliminate the law because it hurts the quality of care, puts unelected bureaucrats between you and your doctor, increases taxes and the deficit, and the Congressional Budget Office has said it will do nothing to “bend the cost curve” of rising premiums, to name a few reasons.

There is a better way to reduce costs and increase access to health care for all Americans than so-called ObamaCare.

It is true that I believe that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are an important tool to create transparency and choice in the health care marketplace, which will lead to lower costs for everyone. My family utilized an HSA for two years, and it quickly turned our family into educated consumers of health care and studious of the options for available care.  Previously we, like most Americans, were only truly aware of the amount owed for our co-pay.

Unfortunately, the health care law eliminates the HSA tool just when employers and employees have begun to embrace its benefits and have an impact on the marketplace.

Please know I recognize that HSAs are only one piece of the three-dimensional puzzle to lower costs and improve access.

Multi-share health programs are another innovative option to provide health insurance to low-income workers and small businesses that cannot afford to pay for insurance. We have seen firsthand the success of this model in Muskegon and northern Ottawa counties with Access Health, which is now also under threat of elimination under ObamaCare. Multi-share programs have the employee, employer and community participate to give uninsured patients access to quality care.

Other solutions that I have been outspoken about are curbing costly junk lawsuits that force doctors to practice defensive medicine and raise costs for everyone. I also support empowering small businesses to band together to negotiate better policies and prices, all things not allowed under ObamaCare.

All of the solutions that I support above are about personal choice, not government control of the health care system and personal health decisions.  Individuals, employers and communities need to find the right solutions to their health care, not top-down requirements and mandates from Washington.

We need to repeal ObamaCare, but we also need to replace it because the previous system was not working either. However, we need to replace it with free-market solutions that will increase the competition to serve you and lower costs so everyone can receive the quality care that they seek.

With the Supreme Court recently hearing oral arguments regarding challenges to ObamaCare and a decision about its constitutionality expected in late spring or early summer, I and my colleagues in the House will continue exploring alternatives that address the rising cost of health care without massive new federal entitlements, spending, and government control.

Online: The Holland Sentinel
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