Top 10 National Policy Issues


ObamaCare, officially named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or Affordable Care Act (ACA), was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010.  ObamaCare was designed to provide more Americans with access to affordable health insurance, improve the quality of health care and health insurance, regulate the health insurance industry, and reduce health care spending in the US.1

Though the ACA contains over a thousand pages of reforms, most of the principal reforms are contained in the first 140 pages (see ObamaCare Facts for sections of the ACA).  Following passage of the ACA, suits were filed in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and the District of Columbia seeking to overturn ObamaCare on the grounds that the provisions which mandate the purchase of health insurance by individuals, referred to as the “Individual Mandate”, violated the Commerce Clause.2  In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate on June 28, 2012, citing the taxing authority of Congress under the Constitution.2 

The debate over whether or not ObamaCare should remain the law of the land continues.  Advocates of ObamaCare cite the millions of Americans who are covered under the program, many of who were not previously covered by health insurance.  Rather than repeal, many advocates propose reforming areas of the ACA which can be improved upon.  Opponents of the ACA raise personal liberty issues, such as losing the right to keep the physician of one’s choice, and contend that the financial costs of ObamaCare are much too high, citing the rise of premiums for middle class Americans and the 18 separate tax increases that will cost taxpayers approximately $503 billion between 2010 and 2019.3


1ObamaCare Facts
2Supreme Court Upholds PPACA
3ObamaCare and New Taxes Destroying Jobs and the Economy

Congressional Record – House
January 13, 2017
We Are Making a Mistake if we Repeal ObamaCare

Congressional Record – House
January 13, 2017
ObamaCare Failures

Congressional Record – House
January 13, 2017
We are Here to Fix ObamaCare

H.R.175 - ObamaCare Repeal Act
Sponsor:  Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]
Introduced:  01/03/2017
Committees:  House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; Education and the Workforce; Natural Resources; Judiciary; House Administration; Rules; Appropriations
Latest Action:  01/03/2017 Referred to House Appropriations  (All Actions)

Summary:  Not available.

H.R.182 - Stop Obamacare Spam Act of 2017
Sponsor:  Rep. Mullin, Markwayne [R-OK-2]
Introduced:  01/03/2017
Committees:  House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action:  01/03/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Summary:  Not available.

H.R.6067 - Relief from Obamacare Exchange Failures Act
Sponsor:  Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6]
Introduced:  09/19/2016
Committees:  House - Ways and Means
Latest Action:  09/19/2016 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.  (All Actions)

Summary:  This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt from the requirement to maintain minimum essential health coverage an individual who for any month is: (1) unable to obtain coverage under a qualified health plan through an exchange established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because no qualified health plan is offered to the individual through an exchange, (2) is not eligible for specified government-sponsored programs that provide health coverage, and (3) is not eligible for affordable employer-sponsored coverage.

Visit Congress.gov for more information on legislative action regarding the Affordable Health Care Act (ObamaCare).
 


Issue Topic

Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)

Polling question

Should the federal government repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)?

Yes, Strongly Agree
Yes, Agree
Neutral / No opinion
No, Disagree
No, Strongly Disagree

				

A major platform of President Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign was the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.  President Trump repeatedly cited the escalating costs of the Affordable Health Care act for middle class families on the campaign stump and vowed to replace what he described as a failed plan.  During a January 2017 news conference in New York City, President Trump stated, "We're going to be submitting -- as soon as our secretary's approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan. It'll be repeal and replace [ObamaCare]. It will be essentially simultaneously," Trump said. "Probably the same day, could be the same hour."1

The following is President Trump’s healthcare position from the Trump-Pence campaign website:

Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again
Since March of 2010, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare. This legislation, passed by totally partisan votes in the House and Senate and signed into law by the most divisive and partisan President in American history, has tragically but predictably resulted in runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices. Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry.

But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

However, it is not enough to simply repeal this terrible legislation. We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country. By following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.

Any reform effort must begin with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been offering reforms that can be delivered individually or as part of more comprehensive reform efforts. In the remaining sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be offered that should be considered by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of restoring faith in government and economic liberty to the people.

Congress must act. Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must:

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
  6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
  7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.

The reforms outlined above will lower healthcare costs for all Americans. They are simply a place to start. There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans. And we must also take actions in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. Enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste and energizing our economy will relieve the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral responsibility of a nation’s government to do what is best for the people and what is in the interest of securing the future of the nation.


National results

Total Middle School and High School Respondents: 3

Total Voting Age Respondents: 26

Issue Poll Summary:

Political followings

Gender

Age


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