OPINION: Why I voted for the American Health Care Act
By David G. Valadao
As a parent, there is absolutely nothing more important to me than ensuring families have access to quality, affordable health insurance. The American Health Care Act will stabilize our health-care system, ensuring our community has access to high quality, affordable health care.Our nation’s health care system was struggling before Obamacare, but passage of the health-care reform bill in 2010, made it worse.
Every day, I hear from my constituents about the ways in which our health-care system is failing Central Valley families. Our depleted health-care system has restricted health-care professionals’ ability to provide care, increased premiums for families and individuals across the country, eliminated patient choice, and severely reduced access to health care in our region of California.
The failed law has created a health-care system that is simply unsustainable and fails to provide quality care. Health-care costs have increased by an average of 25%. The Medicaid expansion is overloading states, which, in order to keep up, will have to increase taxes or increase out-of-pocket expenses to patients.
Despite paying more, Americans are getting less. Nearly one-third of counties only have one insurer offering plans on the exchange, leaving patients little choice. Even worse, these failed policies are causing a shortage of doctors and medical providers, leading to increased wait times, reduced services, and again, fewer options.
Obamacare’s devastating impact on the health-care industry effectively reduced access to health-care services and treatment for entire communities. Possession of an insurance card does not equate to health-care services and medical treatment. This is why I voted in favor of the American Health Care Act.
As a parent, there is absolutely nothing more important to me than ensuring families have access to quality, affordable health insurance. The American Health Care Act will stabilize our health-care system, ensuring our community has access to high quality, affordable health care. This market-driven, patient-centered reform will decrease costs, improve care, and put patients back in charge.
The American Health Care Act ensures all have access to health care by modernizing and strengthening Medicaid for those in need. Under the plan, young adults may stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26 and no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition.
The American Health Care Act helps Americans afford quality coverage by providing monthly health-care vouchers to individuals who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program. Furthermore, the AHCA provides states with $138 billion in funding which can be used to support high-risk pools and cut out-of-pocket costs for families in California.
Additionally, this plan will increase funding for community health centers. This increased funding will greatly benefit the Central Valley, which has 57 community health centers serving the community. Free markets and fair competition implemented in this plan will produce lower costs, more choices, and better health care for the Central Valley.
Building upon the American Health Care Act, administrative action in combination with stand-alone legislation will stabilize insurance markets, provide states more control, and ultimately ensure patients are in charge of their health care decisions.
In the coming weeks, Congress will continue our work to improve our health care system, while reducing federal spending, and maintaining access to health care for America’s most vulnerable populations.
I stand willing and ready to discuss, negotiate and enact responsible policies for my constituents in California’s Central Valley.
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District of California, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern counties.