The greatest problem facing our health care system is the increasing cost of providing care. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act passed in the 111th Congress failed to effectively address this major concern. The U.S. spends more on health care today than any other country does, yet it ranks 37th in the world in healthcare. We must take measures to reduce costs and make access to health insurance more affordable for everyone. The key to making health care more affordable lies with increasing competition and eliminating unnecessary overhead costs on the system, not with a new government takeover of the health care system.
While there are several parts of the law that I do support, such as eliminating lifetime or annual spending caps on essential benefits, preventing insurers from unjustly cancelling policies, closing the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole," and increasing wellness incentives, the President’s health care reform law does not effectively address any of the cost issues that already prevent Americans from seeking or receiving appropriate health care. The solutions we come up with as a nation must focus on the doctor-patient relationship, not on how the federal government can insert itself into every aspect of our health and our lives.
I support health care reform that allows consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, and I believe that tort reform will reduce health care costs further. Tort reform would help curb the number of junk lawsuits filed against doctors, which would in turn lower the cost of malpractice premiums and reduce overhead costs on hospitals. Additionally, tort reform would help reduce the wasteful practice of defensive medicine and reduce health care costs by as much as $200 billion a year.
I will continue to work to put forth solutions that will lower costs, increase access to care, and protect the doctor-patient relationship.