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Collins offers a better way forward

The following is a guest column by Representative Chris Collins.

As a member of Congress, I routinely hear from constituents across the district telling me how they are being economically harmed by ObamaCare.

Workers are seeing their hours slashed and benefits cut, because ObamaCare now defines full-time work as 30 hours per week. The self-employed are losing their private insurance, despite the presidentís promise. And, strapped with uncertainty and increased costs, small business owners are afraid to expand and confused over the health insurance marketplaces.

Across the country, Americans are starting to see the negative impact of ObamaCare play out and they want a better way forward. The Republican Study Conference, of which I am a member, has come up with a better way, because ObamaCare cannot just be repealed; it must also be replaced.

In September, the RSC introduced the American Health Care Reform Act. This legislation calls for patient-centered reforms, rooted in the free market, and focuses on tax reform and increased competition, to drive down healthcare costs and improve access, all without additional government mandates, regulations or tax increases.

The American Health Care Reform Act starts with a full repeal of ObamaCare, eliminating billions in taxes and unworkable regulations and mandates, giving the nation a clean slate, when it comes to health care reform.

This legislation will decrease health care costs by spurring competition, within the industry, and increasing choices for Americans. Under the American Health Care Reform Act, Americans will be allowed to purchase health insurance, across state lines, and small businesses will have the opportunity to pool together, giving them the same buying power as large corporations.

Safeguards for patients with pre-exiting conditions will be implemented. State-based risk pools will be strengthened and individual health information privacy protections will be extended. Additionally, those with pre-existing conditions will be able to move between large, small and individual health markets, allowing them to receive protection, regardless of the source of their prior coverage.

Tax reforms will allow families and individuals to deduct health care costs like a company. This will increase transparency in payments and pricing, allowing Americans to become more educated consumers, when it comes to health care. Additionally, tort reform will reduce or eliminate the cost of defensive, unnecessary medical tests.

I understand that our current health care system is broken, but ObamaCare is not the way forward. It is already slowing economic growth, limiting care options for patients, driving up the cost of premiums and forcing our nationís workforce into part-time employment.

The American Health Care Reform Act will put medical decisions back in the hands of patients and doctors. It will drive down the cost of healthcare and increase access, without sacrificing the American worker.


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