Issue: Health Care

Walorski Statement on Health Care Legislation

Walorski Statement on Health Care Legislation

Spoke on House Floor in Support of Repealing, Replacing Obamacare

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the American Health Care Act was withdrawn from the House floor:

“Too many Hoosiers are facing higher premiums, fewer options, and a collapsing system under Obamacare. I’m disappointed in today’s outcome because the American people deserve relief from Obamacare’s broken promises.

“I remain committed to working with my colleagues and President Trump to build a patient-centered health care system that lowers costs, provides real protections, and returns control to individuals and families.”

Earlier today, Walorski spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Video of her remarks is available here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Houses Passes Bipartisan Bills to Lower Health Insurance Costs

Houses Passes Bipartisan Bills to Lower Health Insurance Costs

Legislation Will Help Small Businesses Offer Employees Health Plans, Boost Competition in Insurance Marketplace

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for two bipartisan bills as part of efforts to repair the nation’s health care system.

“The bipartisan bills we passed today will help individuals and families access affordable health care by giving small businesses more leverage to negotiate health coverage for their employees and boosting competition in the insurance marketplace,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “In combination with the American Health Care Act, these bills will create a better health care system that lowers costs, increases choice, and puts patients first.”

BACKGROUND

The Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), which passed the House by a vote of 236 to 175, would allow small businesses to band together across state lines to offer their employees insurance through association health plans (AHPs). These AHPs would give small businesses more power to negotiate for lower health care costs, leveling the playing field with large businesses and unions.

The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 372), which passed the House by a vote of 416 to 7, would eliminate antitrust exemptions for insurance providers. This would restore fair competition, protect consumers from consolidation in the insurance market, and lower health care costs.

Congress and the Trump administration are working to repeal Obamacare and repair our nation’s health care system through a three-phase process:

  • The first phase, the American Health Care Act, repeals Obamacare through budget reconciliation and begins a stable transition to a patient-centered system.
  • The second phase includes administrative actions by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to stabilize insurance markets and bring down costs.
  • The third phase is the passage of additional legislation, beginning with today’s bills, to further improve access to affordable health care.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on Improvements to the American Health Care Act

Walorski Statement on Improvements to the American Health Care Act

House Expected to Vote Thursday on Legislation to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on an amendment to strengthen legislation to repeal Obamacare and begin a stable transition to a better health care system:

“With the American Health Care Act, we are delivering on our promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare and repair our nation’s health care system. These improvements will better help individuals and families access affordable health care and give states greater flexibility to implement innovative reforms like those in Indiana.

“President Trump met with House Republicans this morning and made clear he is with us 100 percent to deliver on our promise to the American people. I look forward to voting for this legislation and working with my colleagues in the Senate to get it to the president’s desk.”

BACKGROUND

The House on Thursday is expected to vote on the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), which repeals Obamacare and replaces it with a better health care system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients. The legislation will:

  • Provide relief for families and small businesses from nearly $900 billion in burdensome taxes and mandate penalties;
  • Ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care through tax credits, expanded health savings accounts (HSAs), and a Patient and State Stability Fund;
  • Give states flexibility to implement innovative reforms and tailor solutions to the needs of their own citizens instead of one-size-fits-all policies from Washington;
  • Protect patients with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26; and
  • Begin a stable transition period to ensure no one has the rug pulled out from under them.

The amendment announced Monday evening is the product of an open legislative process and discussions between House Republicans and the Trump administration. It includes improvements to the bill that will:

  • Ensure older Americans can access affordable health care by laying the groundwork for additional support for those aged 50 to 64;
  • Give states greater flexibility with Medicaid by adding the option of block grants instead of per capita allotments for traditional Medicaid populations and allowing work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents;
  • Accelerate tax relief by dismantling Obamacare’s taxes and mandate penalties in 2017 instead of 2018;
  • Strengthen pro-life protections to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions or abortion coverage; and
  • Unwind the Medicaid expansion responsibly by preventing new states from enrolling in the expansion while continuing to allow individuals who enroll through 2019 to stay in the program until they naturally cycle out.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on CBO Analysis of the American Health Care Act

Walorski Statement on CBO Analysis of the American Health Care Act

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the American Health Care Act, legislation to repeal Obamacare and begin a stable transition to a better health care system:

“Obamacare forced millions of Americans into one-size-fits-all plans they can’t afford, while our bill gives people the freedom to choose plans in a competitive market. It’s no surprise the CBO predicts fewer people will purchase health insurance once they are no longer forced to do so.

“The American Health Care Act – along with additional administrative and legislative measures – will lower costs, increase choices, stabilize markets, and protect patients. The CBO report confirms that the reforms in this bill will lower premiums in the long term, provide individuals and families with relief from Obamacare’s taxes and mandates, and save taxpayers more than $330 billion.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress, the Trump administration, and Governor Holcomb to take control away from Washington, give states the flexibility to enact innovative reforms like those in Indiana, and put health care decisions back in patients’ hands.”

BACKGROUND

The American Health Care Act will repeal Obamacare and replace it with a better health care system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients. Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Provide relief for families and small businesses from Obamacare’s burdensome taxes and mandates;
  • Protect patients with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26;
  • Ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care through tax credits and expanded health savings accounts (HSAs);
  • Give states flexibility to tailor solutions to the needs of their own citizens instead of top-down, one-size-fits-all policies from Washington; and
  • Begin a stable transition period to ensure no one has the rug pulled out from under them.

Individuals and families who do not have access to job-based coverage, Medicare, or Medicaid will be able to use advanceable, refundable tax credits to purchase the health insurance plan of their choice. The legislation would also help families save for medical expenses by raising contribution limits for HSAs and expanding how they can be used.

The House Ways and Means Committee, of which Walorski is a member, last week held a markup of the portions of the legislation that fall under the committee’s jurisdiction. Walorski voted to advance these portions, which include ending Obamacare’s taxes and mandates, enhancing HSAs, and providing tax credits for health coverage. The American Health Care Act will be considered this week by the House Budget Committee.

The full text of the American Health Care Act is available at readthebill.gop.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes to Advance Obamacare Repeal Legislation

Walorski Votes to Advance Obamacare Repeal Legislation

Ways and Means Committee Completes Markup of the American Health Care Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement after voting in the House Ways and Means Committee to advance portions of the American Health Care Act:

“We are one step closer to ensuring Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. The American Health Care Act will repeal Obamacare and replace it with a patient-centered system that puts individuals and families back in control of their health care decisions. By advancing the policies President Trump outlined last week, we are delivering on our promise to provide relief for the millions of Americans facing higher costs and fewer choices under Obamacare.”

BACKGROUND

The Ways and Means Committee, of which Walorski is a member, held a markup of those portions of the American Health Care Act that fall under the committee’s jurisdiction. The Ways and Means portions include:

  • Dismantling Obamacare’s burdensome taxes and mandates, including individual and employer mandate penalties and taxes on medical devices, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and health insurance premiums;
  • Ensuring access to affordable, quality health care through tax credits for individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through their employer or a government program; and
  • Giving patients more control over their health care dollars by expanding and enhancing health savings accounts.

This legislation will be combined with the Energy and Commerce Committee’s legislation into one reconciliation package. The combined bill will repeal Obamacare and replace it with a better health care system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients.

Specifically, the American Health Care Act will:

  • Provide relief for families and small businesses from Obamacare’s burdensome taxes and mandates;
  • Protect patients with pre-existing conditions and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26;
  • Ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care through tax credits and expanded health savings accounts (HSAs);
  • Give states flexibility to tailor solutions to the needs of their own citizens instead of top-down, one-size-fits-all policies from Washington; and
  • Begin a stable transition period to ensure no one has the rug pulled out from under them.

The full text of the American Health Care Act is available at readthebill.gop.

A summary of the legislation is available HERE.

A section-by-section of the Ways and Means portions of the legislation is available HERE.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on American Health Care Act

Walorski Statement on American Health Care Act

Legislation Repeals Obamacare, Begins Stable Transition to Patient-Centered Health Care System

Bill Text Available at readthebill.gop

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on the American Health Care Act, legislation that would repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered reforms:

“Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight, driving up health care costs, and limiting options for individuals and families. We made a promise to the American people to repeal this broken law and replace it with a stable transition to a better system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients. That is exactly what the American Health Care Act will do.

“The American Health Care Act provides families and small businesses relief from Obamacare’s burdensome taxes and mandates. It protects patients with pre-existing conditions and ensures Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. And it gives states flexibility to tailor solutions to the needs of their own citizens.

“With this bill – which I encourage Hoosiers to read online – Congress and the Trump administration are working together to rescue our health care system and put patients first.”

BACKGROUND

The American Health Care Act will repeal Obamacare and replace it with a better health care system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients. Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Provide relief for families and small businesses from Obamacare’s burdensome taxes and mandates;
  • Protect patients with pre-existing conditions and allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26;
  • Ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care through tax credits and expanded health savings accounts (HSAs);
  • Give states flexibility to tailor solutions to the needs of their own citizens instead of top-down, one-size-fits-all policies from Washington; and
  • Begin a stable transition period to ensure no one has the rug pulled out from under them.

Individuals and families who do not have access to job-based coverage, Medicare, or Medicaid will be able to use advanceable, refundable tax credits to purchase the health insurance plan of their choice. The legislation would also help families save for medical expenses by raising contribution limits for HSAs and expanding how they can be used.

The House Ways and Means Committee, of which Walorski is a member, on Wednesday will hold a markup of the portions of the legislation that fall under the committee’s jurisdiction. These portions include ending Obamacare’s taxes and mandates, enhancing HSAs, and providing tax credits for health coverage. The hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The full text of the American Health Care Act is available at readthebill.gop.

A summary of the legislation is available HERE.

A section-by-section of the Ways and Means portion of the legislation is available HERE.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Statement on President Trump’s Address to Congress

Walorski Statement on President Trump’s Address to Congress

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today released the following statement on President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress:

“In his first address to Congress, President Trump presented a positive vision and a bold agenda for our country. From jump-starting our economy and growing jobs to rebuilding our military and protecting our veterans, Congress and the president are committed to working together for real solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.

“That’s why we’re working together to fix our broken tax code and make it flatter, simpler, and fairer. We’re rolling back burdensome regulations that are crushing small businesses, manufacturers, and farmers. We’re working to provide relief to the millions of families struggling under Obamacare by repealing and replacing it with a better system that lowers costs, increases choices, and protects patients with pre-existing conditions. And we’re making sure our servicemen and women have the resources they need on the battlefield and the care they deserve when they return home.

“The president’s message was one of optimism, unity, and faith in the American spirit – just what this country needs. Congress and President Trump are off to a great start working for the American people, and I couldn’t be more excited about what we are going to accomplish together.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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In the News: Indy Star Op-Ed: GOP looks for better health care plan

Op-Ed: GOP looks for better health care plan

by Rep. Susan Brooks, Rep. Larry Bucshon, Rep. Todd Rokita, Rep. Luke Messer, Rep. Jackie Walorski, Rep. Jim Banks, and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth

Eight in 10 Americans believe we should significantly change or repeal Obamacare. Why?

It’s forcing millions of Americans and Hoosiers to make very tough choices.

Families and individuals covered through their employer are forced to make the difficult choice: pay their premium each month or pay their bills. Rising premium costs have far outpaced the growth of paychecks meaning less take-home pay. At the same time, deductibles, the amount of money paid before insurance kicks in, are skyrocketing; deductibles are up 63 percent since 2011.

People covered through the health care exchanges are facing a different choice: keep their trusted doctor or find a more affordable, different plan. In Indiana, four of the eight plans available on the exchanges last year are no longer an option for Hoosiers. As a result, 68,000 Hoosiers lost their plan. Additionally, in one third of the country — including five states — Americans have access to only one insurer in 2017.

Families who are working to support themselves and don’t qualify for Medicaid are facing the toughest choice of all: pay a premium they can’t afford or go uninsured altogether while paying the federally-mandated penalty. Nearly the same number of Americans chose to pay the penalty for not having insurance as those who received a subsidy last year. To put this choice in perspective, the average 2017 deductibles for individuals and families on an Obamacare “bronze plan” are $6,000 and $12,000 respectively. For a family making $50,000 a year, that’s no better than going uninsured.

The reality is that Obamacare turned the entire healthcare system on its head and still left nearly 30 million Americans uninsured. Of the 20 million Americans covered under the law, half were thrown into traditional Medicaid, a failing program that studies show leaves patients worse off than their uninsured counterparts. Furthermore, estimates show that as many as 5 million Americans lost their coverage and were forced into the exchanges as a result of the law.

Increased out-of-pocket costs, limited choices and restricted access are not the changes we were promised when Obamacare was signed into law in 2010.

For these reasons and others, we agree with the majority of Americans who want relief from Obamacare. Doing nothing at this point would be irresponsible.

So, Congress took the first procedural steps to repeal and replace Obamacare with a better health care system that puts health care decisions back where they belong, in patients’ hands. As we move forward, we are committed to ensuring that every American has access to quality, affordable health coverage. We all agree that a smooth transition is critical. Any changes should take place over time, and we will not pull the rug out from under anyone.

Claims that millions of Americans will lose coverage are simply not true. Without a doubt, some Americans benefited from the law and we are committed to protecting those Americans. However, far more Americans have been upended by the law, and we are working to bring them relief.

As we are in the process of repealing Obamacare, we will also rebuild our health care system with our ideas, some of which are included in “A Better Way Agenda.” These ideas include protecting coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions and allowing people under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans. In fact, our healthcare proposals have always included these ideas — before Obamacare, during debate of the law and they remain a priority today.

We are committed to working with all of our colleagues and the Trump-Pence Administration to build a health care system that works better for you. Please take the time to look at some of our ideas, available online at better.gop. We want to hear your insights and ideas about how we can improve health care for everyone. We are determined to provide relief to the millions of families facing tough choices as a direct result of Obamacare, and we hope that you’ll work with us to achieve our goal of more affordable, accessible health care that offers you and your family better options.

Read the full op-ed here.

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Walorski Highlights Hoosier’s Health Care Story at First Ways & Means Hearing

Walorski Shares Hoosier’s Health Care Story at First Ways & Means Hearing

Oversight Subcommittee Examines Effectiveness of Obamacare Individual Mandate

012417_WMOversight_Obamacare

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today at a hearing shared the story of a Starke County constituent whose health care experience highlights the failure of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to increase competition and expand patient options.

In today’s hearing, the first since Walorski joined the House Ways and Means Committee, the Subcommittee on Oversight examined the effectiveness of the individual mandate and its impact on patients.

“The American people were repeatedly promised that if they liked their doctor and their health care plan they could keep them, but these promises were repeatedly broken,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I’ve heard from too many Hoosiers facing higher costs and fewer choices under Obamacare, including one resident of Starke County whose plan was cancelled and who was forced to choose from options that don’t cover his doctors. This is why we are working to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a stable transition to a health care system that is better for patients.”

Video of Walorski’s remarks at the hearing is available here. The text of her remarks as prepared for delivery is below.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

“President Obama promised over and over again: If you like your doctor, you’ll be able to keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.

“Despite these repeated pledges, we know now that these statements were completely untrue.  In the fall of 2013, millions of Americans started receiving plan cancellation notices. PolitiFact ranked President Obama’s statement as its “Lie of the Year” in 2013.

“But it wasn’t just the immediate loss of plans – people are still losing them. For example, in Indiana last year, four insurers left the exchange, leaving Hoosiers with fewer options.

“Recently, I heard from a constituent of mine from Starke County. He has had two open-heart surgeries at the Mayo Clinic that require him to be on blood-thinning and other medications, as well as periodic check-ups. He had a private health insurance policy that he liked and covered his medical needs, but in 2015, it was grandfathered out by Obamacare. He was forced to buy a health care policy on the Marketplace, but unfortunately discovered at an annual check-up at Mayo Clinic that his doctors were not “in network” because they were out of state. He was forced to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for the visit, in addition to thousands more out of pocket for his prescriptions. When he appealed to the Indiana Department of Insurance, he was told there was no Marketplace insurance plan that would cover his doctors at Mayo Clinic. He recently learned that his Marketplace plan through UnitedHealthcare won’t offer individual market plans for his area in 2017. He was forced back onto the Marketplace to find a new health plan that still will not cover his out-of-state doctors. It reinforces to me that for many Americans this law is not working as promised.

“Mr. Miller, Mr. Graham, isn’t it true that the individual mandate was supposed to increase competition on the exchanges by ensuring that people sign up, thereby encouraging insurance carriers to offer more choices and broaden their networks?

“When insurer networks have become so narrow that individuals, like my constituent, lose access to their doctors, what does that say about the mandate’s effectiveness?”

BACKGROUND

The Subcommittee on Oversight is the Ways and Means Committee’s watchdog panel, tasked with overseeing and investigating issues under the committee’s jurisdiction.

The witnesses testifying before the subcommittee today were:

  • Thomas Miller
    Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • John R. Graham
    Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis
  • John E. McDonough DrPH, MPA
    Professor of Practice, Department of Health Policy & Management, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Walorski Votes for First Step to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Walorski Votes for First Step to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

Budget Resolution Sets Stage for Obamacare Repeal, Stable Transition to Better Health Care System

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted to begin the process of repealing Obamacare and replacing it with patient-centered reforms that lower costs, increase choices, provide real protections, and put health care decisions back in the hands of patients and their doctors.

“This is the first step toward keeping our promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real reforms that put patients first,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Obamacare is a failed law that is hurting people right now with skyrocketing premiums and dwindling options. Today we set the stage for repeal and a stable transition period toward a better health care system with lower costs, more choices, and strong protections for patients.”

BACKGROUND

Six years after Obamacare was passed along party lines, the law has failed to deliver on its promises. Families across the country are facing rising costs and fewer coverage options. As part of their Better Way agenda, House Republicans made repealing Obamacare and replacing it with an affordable, stable, and secure health care system one of their top priorities for the 115th Congress.

The House today passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 3) by a vote of 227 to 198. The resolution, which earlier this week passed the Senate, is the first step in the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Congress next will begin the reconciliation process, which allows the legislation to pass both the House and Senate with a simple majority, getting the bill to the new president’s desk more quickly. Congresswoman Walorski recently was appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, which will play a central role in working out details of the reconciliation package, giving her a seat at the table in the repeal and replacement process.

After passing the Obamacare repeal bill, Congress will begin working on the FY 2018 budget resolution, which will include a comprehensive plan to achieve long-term fiscal sustainability.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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