OP-ED | The Affordable Care Act Is Clearly Bad Medicine
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is deeply disappointing to all who believe we can reform health care without burdening our people and economy with higher taxes, increased spending, and more red tape. The law represents the largest tax increase in American history, aimed directly at small businesses and middle-class families. It will raise the costs of health care, and millions of Americans will lose the plans and doctors they have now. It will also be a job killer in an economy already struggling. That is why I will vote to repeal it and will work to replace it with common-sense reforms the American people want and our economy needs
Everything we were told about this law turns out not to be so. We were told it would not raise taxes. In fact, it imposes 21 new or higher taxes. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 75% of the new tax burden will fall on families making $250,000 or less. We were told the law would reduce the costs of health care. Actually, CBO concludes premiums will rise and health care will be more expensive. We were told the law would permit people to keep the plans and doctors they have, but in fact the law will reduce the number of people on company plans. Government will dictate which services are required and which may be rationed or no longer be available at all. As government assumes the role of physician-in-chief, the traditional ties between patients and doctors will be broken.
The Affordable Care Act is clearly bad medicine, but its impact on the economy will be every bit as harmful. Many Connecticut small business owners tell me that rather than hire more workers, they are going to cut back. So what must we do? I am absolutely committed to the repeal of the law, but we must also deal with the uncertainties. Americans should not have to lie awake at night wondering what will happen if they or a loved one need medical care they cannot afford.
Our goal should be common-sense reforms that produce true, patient-centered care. That means ensuring people will have the freedom to choose the plan they deem best, to visit the doctor they prefer, and to receive the care they need. The key will be to spur real competition to create more choices while driving down prices. Competition in every realm will allow us to build more hospitals, train more doctors, and provide new opportunities for Americans to shop for the best plans at the most affordable prices.
The choice on Election Day will be clear. Voters must choose between misguided policies that will send us spinning in the direction of Greece, or those that will preserve and strengthen the best health system in the world by unleashing America’s unparalleled ingenuity and innovation.
Linda McMahon is a Republican running for the U.S. Senate.