08222017Headline:

House Dem mocks GOP’s ‘invisible’ healthcare replacement bill

Path to Prosperity

Our government has a spending problem—a problem so large that it is driving up our debt, hurting our nation’s ability to create jobs, and threatening our future. In the past, Washington has not been truthful about the magnitude of these problems facing our country, but we can no longer afford to put off an honest, fact-based conversation on how to solve them. Unless we act soon, government spending on health and retirement programs will crowd out spending on all other government programs, including national security, and, eventually, will consume every cent of every federal tax dollar.

No one person or party is responsible for the looming crisis. Yet the facts are clear: major spending increases have failed to deliver promised jobs. The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams. Government health and retirement programs are growing at unsustainable rates. The new health care law has created a tremendous fiscal burden, and a complex, inefficient tax code is holding back American families and businesses.

The House-passed budget repeals the President’s disastrous new health care law and protects the health and retirement security of those who need it. With the creation of Medicare in 1965, the United States made a commitment to help fund the medical care of elderly Americans to ensure that a serious illness would not exhaust their life savings or the assets and incomes of their working children and younger relatives.

Medicare’s structural imbalance threatens beneficiaries’ access to quality, affordable care. A flaw in the structure of the program is driving up health care costs, which are, in turn, threatening to bankrupt the system – and ultimately the nation. Unless Congress fixes what’s broken in Medicare, without breaking what’s working, the program will end up causing exactly what it was created to avoid – millions of American seniors without adequate health security and a younger working generation saddled with enormous debts to pay for spending levels that cannot be sustained.

It is morally unconscionable for elected leaders to cling to an unsustainable status quo with respect to America’s health and retirement security programs. Current seniors and future generations deserve better than empty promises and a diminished country. Current retirees deserve the benefits around which they organized their lives. Future generations deserve health and retirement security they can count on. By making gradual structural improvements, Congress can preserve America’s social contract with retired workers.

Recognizing the problems facing Medicare, the House Budget Proposal:

  • Strengthens health and retirement security by taking power away from government bureaucrats and empowering patients with control over their care.
  • Repeals the new health care law’s unaccountable board of bureaucrats empowered to cut Medicare in ways that would jeopardize seniors’ access to care.
  • Saves Medicare for current and future generations, with no disruptions for those in and near retirement.
  • For younger workers, when they become eligible, Medicare will provide a premium-support payment and a list of guaranteed coverage options – including a traditional fee-for-service option – from which recipients can choose a plan that best suits their needs.
  • Program growth would be determined by a competitive-bidding process – with choice and competition forcing providers to reduce costs and improve quality for seniors.
  • Premium support, competitive bidding, and more assistance for those with lower incomes or greater health care needs will ensure guaranteed affordability for all seniors.

Allowing the federal government to break its promises to current seniors and to future generations is unacceptable. The reforms outlined in the budget passed by the House protect and preserve Medicare for those in and near retirement, while saving and strengthening this critical program so that future generations can count on it to be there when they retire.

Reforming Medicaid in the Path to Prosperity

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal spending on Medicaid, a program which provides medical care for the poor, will grow from $ 276 billion in 2013 to $ 622 billion by 2022. This translates into an annual growth rate of 9 percent. Should this problem continue to be ignored, Medicaid will continue to overwhelm state and federal budgets and fail the vulnerable people who need it most.

Specifically, the Path to Prosperity:

  • Secures the Medicaid benefit by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant tailored to meet each state’s needs, indexed for inflation and population growth. This reform ends the misguided one-size-fits-all approach that has tied the hands of so many state governments. States will no longer be shackled by federally determined program requirements and enrollment criteria. Instead, they will have the freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations.
  • Improves the health-care safety net for low-income Americans by giving states the ability to offer their Medicaid populations more options and better access to care. Medicaid recipients, like all Americans, deserve to choose their own doctors and make their own health care decisions, instead of having Washington dictate those decisions for them.
  • Saves $ 810 billion over ten years, contributing to the long-term stabilization of the federal government’s fiscal path and encouraging fiscal responsibility at the state level.

All Americans will pay more because of this broken Medicaid system – and not just in higher taxes. Because Medicaid’s reimbursement rates have been ratcheted down to below-market levels, the care that Medicaid patients receive is often substandard. Offering states more flexibility for their Medicaid beneficiaries will remove the stigma Medicaid recipients face, and allow them to take advantage of a range of options available. Several of the nation’s governors have made innovative proposals to fix Medicaid. This budget encourages further efforts in this direction.

paulrayn.house.gov

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