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Greg Walden and Repeal of Obamacare

Chairman Walden said:

“After years of Obamacare’s broken promises, House Republicans today took an important step. We’ve spent the last eight years listening to folks across this country, and today we’re proud to put forth a plan that reflects eight years’ worth of those conversations with families, patients, and doctors. Simply put, we have a Better Way to deliver solutions that put patients – not bureaucrats – first, and we are moving forward united in our efforts to rescue the American people from the mess Obamacare has created.

“With today’s legislation, we return power back to the states – strengthening Medicaid and prioritizing our nation’s most vulnerable. We provide the American people with what they’ve asked for: greater choice, lower cost, and flexibility to choose the plan that best suits their needs. Today is just the first step in helping families across this country obtain truly affordable health care, and we’re eager to get this rescue mission started.

The Affordable Care Act turned out to be anything but affordable, both for families in Oregon and the federal government. Health insurance markets are in a death spiral. For families, average premiums this year increased by 27% in Oregon, following a 23% increase the previous year. And annual federal spending on Medicaid and Medicare will increase by nearly $1 trillion in by 2027 unless we right the ship — not to mention Medicaid’s estimated $36.3 billion in improper payments.

That’s why I’m proud to be leading the charge to repeal and replace Obamacare with a patient-centered solution that fixes our broken health care system. Our bill, which you can read at www.readthebill.gop, makes real conservative reforms to make health care affordable for families.

Entitlement reform — This bill represents the largest entitlement reform the federal government has undertaken in the last 20 years. Medicaid is a vital program for families across Oregon, but Obamacare put Medicaid on an unsustainable path. We need to make sure this critical lifeline is available not just for patients tomorrow, but also for patients 10 years from now. That’s why our bill bends the federal cost curve and refocuses Medicaid’s limited resources to the patients most in need. By responsibly winding down the Medicaid expansion, we are significantly decreasing the federal footprint in health care and giving patients who have benefited from the expansion a tax credit to spend on their health care the way they see fit — not as dictated by bureaucrats in Washington.

$1 trillion tax cut — Obamacare’s regulations alone have already cost the American economy more than $53 billion to date. The ACA also empowered the IRS to become the police of health care coverage through the individual mandate. The only problem being that the American people did not bow down to this federal government decree: just this past year, 19.2 million people either paid the individual mandate penalty or claimed an exemption, far more than the 10.3 million individuals who are signed up for plans on Obamacare exchanges. With taxes and penalties, Obamacare tried to coerce people into signing up for federal health care, when in reality what they need is more choice and freedom to find a plan that works for them. That’s why our plan repeals $1 trillion on Obamacare taxes, and returns control over health care back to patients and their doctors.

Defunding Planned Parenthood — In addition to the other reforms we’ve put into place, our bill will defund Planned Parenthood and get the federal government out of the abortion business once and for all. This is not about denying access to women’s health services — on the contrary, we are doubling funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide many of the same women’s health services as Planned Parenthood, but also preserve the First Amendment rights of employers and employees alike by not having their tax dollars subsidize abortions.

Returning control of health care to states — Oregon has always been a leading state in health care innovation. The Coordinated Care Organizations have done some great work in reducing the state’s cost curve while improving access to care, but those successes have not come without difficulties. Insurers have continued to flee Oregon’s individual market, and premiums have continued to rise, leaving patients with fewer choices and higher costs. That’s why our bill returns control over health care to states, which have long been the laboratories for successful delivery of care at a sustainable cost to the government. Your doctors are in Oregon, not Washington, D.C. — shouldn’t your health care decisions be made in Oregon, too?

Our work to empower patients and put them back in control of their health care is not done, but this bill is a good first step — again you can read it at www.readthebill.gop. Please know that I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the Administration to save our nation’s health care and repair the damage Obamacare has done.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


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