Wicker: The Time Has Come to Repeal Obamacare Once and For All
Real Change Starts with Policies Aimed at Lowering Costs, Increasing Access
I voted against the President’s health-care law when Democratic supermajorities in Congress passed it in 2010. I voted for the law’s repeal in 2015, but that legislation was vetoed by President Obama. Now Congress is presented with another opportunity to end Obamacare and put us on a path forward to lower costs and expand choices for Americans. The Senate is currently considering a repeal resolution, which could pass in the coming days. Under the Trump Administration, this effort to repeal and replace the law is nearing reality.
Why Obamacare Doesn’t Work
Mississippians have told me time and again why the health-care law does not work for them. For starters, the cost of health insurance has become unaffordable. How are families expected to remain financially secure with skyrocketing monthly premiums and deductibles in the thousands of dollars? This is hardly the $2,500 average decrease that President Obama promised the law would achieve.
Mississippians have not been able to keep their doctors, as was also promised. The law has forced insurers to cancel plans, leaving some people with no option other than to change or lose their coverage. Now, with the exit of major insurers from the federal insurance exchanges, the prospect of choosing the best health provider is even more difficult. More than half of the counties in our state have only one insurer offering Obamacare plans this year. These problems have only gotten worse with time.
Instead of continuing the government takeover of health care, a market-driven approach would recognize the power of competition to keep premiums down. Washington’s overreach under Obamacare has left small businesses dealing with burdensome rules and uncertainty. The time and costs of complying with these rules squanders the resources that could instead be used to create new jobs.
We Found Out ‘What’s In It’
For the past eight years, I have said that this 2,700-page health-care law is not a practical solution. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously said the law should be passed so Americans “can find out what’s in it.” Americans have learned what’s in it and the consensus is clear: Obamacare has not brought about constructive change, only more problems.
Eight out of 10 Americans, according to a recent Gallup poll, want major changes to the law or want it replaced altogether. They know what does and does not work because they have lived with the consequences of this flawed law. Unfortunately, the damage inflicted by Obamacare will not be fixed overnight. Republicans are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for Americans who through no fault of their own are on Obamacare. Repealing Obamacare is just the first step toward enacting policies that put Mississippi families first.