The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board makes dire predictions about what repealing Obamacare will mean for California, (“McCarthy may be hazardous to his own district’s health”; Editorials, Jan. 17). Unfortunately, the board gravely neglects the facts.
It is true that millions of Californians receive health insurance coverage through Obamacare and in particular through the Medicaid expansion. But the number of insured matters little when the quality of the insurance is so dismal.
Studies show that people on Medi-Cal and the broader Medicaid program have similar or even worse health outcomes than the uninsured, face extreme difficulties in finding a doctor, and in some cases endure long waits for specialty care.
The reality is that 18 of 23 new Obamacare-financed insurance providers are failing, premiums are rising by as much as 25 percent for the average plan this year, and a third of counties have only one provider. Amid all these problems and more with Obamacare, our nation is spending billions of dollars expanding Medicaid, a program with serious flaws.
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Increasing Medicaid enrollment might give some politicians and editorial boards a sense of moral accomplishment, but the American people need more than being pushed into an over-capacity Medicaid system. Not only that, but Medicaid needs true reform so it can serve its intended purpose of providing an important safety net for those who fall between the cracks.
To get a clear idea of how Obamacare works, imagine the federal government gives some people cars, but they are missing two tires, leak gas, and have a busted transmission.
Meanwhile, other people are forced to buy cars they don’t necessarily want and their monthly lease rates go up each year. One could claim that millions of Americans who didn’t have cars now do, but that doesn’t matter much to people with cars they can’t use, don’t want or can’t afford in their garages.
As for the Congressional Budget Office’s claim that repealing Obamacare will cost 18 million Americans their health insurance, that assumes that Congress and the new administration will do absolutely nothing to reform health care. Making accusations solely based on our decision to repeal Obamacare is like blaming a guy for removing a flat tire from his car when he’s just about to put on a better one.
House Republicans have never wanted to repeal Obamacare alone. We plan to rescue people from Obamacare’s imminent crash and provide Americans with relief through access to affordable care that will actually help.
That’s why a centerpiece of our replacement plan will be a refundable tax credit delivered every month. It will give all Americans – particularly low-income Americans who don’t pay net income taxes – the means to purchase the health care they choose, if they choose to do so.
Ignoring the pain Obamacare is causing and defending the law with meaningless statistics won’t help people who deserve better. Though Republicans didn’t create this problem, we’re going to fix it.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is House Majority Leader. He can be reached at https://kevinmccarthy.house.gov/contact/email-me.