I rise as leader of the Republicans on the committee of jurisdiction over employer-sponsored health care, the House Committee on Education and Labor. We have a vital stake in this debate because that’s how most Americans get their healthcare—through their employer. Our focus should be on improving those options. Instead, we’re here so our Democrat colleagues can grind an ax against the few remaining healthcare options they don’t get to control.
Among its many choice-eliminating, freedom-limiting provisions, this legislation would eliminate short-term limited duration insurance plans. These plans are an obvious potential solution for millions of Americans, working or not, who may find themselves between jobs, or unable to afford rising premiums in the already expensive individual market. If any of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claims to be a champion for hardworking Americans or the unemployed, their support for this provision is proof that those claims are empty.
It’s worth noting, for the record, that short-term limited duration plans WERE legal under the Obama administration, and that states still have the authority to regulate these plans, both under the Obama administration and under the current rules. If states choose to limit or prohibit the sale of these plans, they are free to do so.By considering this bill, House Democrats are once again defaulting to their standard, uncreative, blind support for one-size-fits-all federal mandates, instead of respecting the judgment of state lawmakers and authorities to act in their state’s best interest.
Republicans on the Education and Labor Committee have been and remain fully dedicated to protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions and unleashing new customizable, affordable, workable healthcare options that take into account the changing needs of all Americans at all stages of life.
The bill before the House today will not lower drug prices, will not protect anyone from surprise billing, will not lower premiums, will not cut any out-of-pocket costs, and will not provide one cent of tax relief. Its failure to achieve any of those objectives makes it simply unacceptable to us as Republicans.
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