Under the Empowering Patients First Act, individuals and small businesses would experience benefits similar to those enjoyed by employees of a large corporation. Through association health plans and individual membership associations, Americans can harness the purchasing power of millions by pooling with others across the country. When these pools are widened — a practice currently prohibited by law — prices fall and risks associated with covering individuals with pre-existing conditions vanish. No one should be priced out of the insurance market because of an unfavorable diagnosis.
Still, even with real reforms, too many families can’t afford health insurance. While Obamacare thrusts these Americans into government-run programs like Medicaid, H.R. 2300 instead provides them with deductions, tax credits, refundable tax credits, or advanceable refundable tax credits. This ensures that all Americans will have the financial wherewithal to purchase the kind of coverage they need, not what the government forces them to buy.
Finally, in addition to being an affront to quality health care, Obamacare is also an unabashed assault on our First Amendment rights. Thanks to its regulations, employers are now required to provide their workers with insurance that covers treatments or services that may be contrary to their beliefs. Our bill reverses this constitutional violation, protecting religious liberty and safeguarding conscientious objection.
As millions of our fellow Americans suffer under Obamacare, Republicans are eager to offer a better alternative, a smarter solution respectful of all patients. We can improve our health-care system while reducing costs and saving taxpayers money. And we can do it all without putting Washington in control of medicine.
— Tom Price represents Georgia’s sixth congressional district. He is the vice chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. An orthopedic surgeon, he spent more than 20 years caring for patients in the metro Atlanta area.