Friday, March 14, 2014

Republicans have a plan for health care


By MIKE SIMPSON

After being accused of lying in this paper by reader Dr. Elliott Mercer on Feb. 26, I felt the need to respond.
    First, Dr. Mercer accused me of lying about my statement that only 35 percent of Americans support Obamacare. I was referring to a major poll done by CNN at the end of last year that found only 35 percent support for the law. In a more recent poll by Kaiser, only 35 percent of Americans expressed a favorable view of it.  Dr. Mercer is certainly welcome to his opinions, but not his facts.  Like many supporters of the Obama administration, he appears unwilling to accept the law’s unpopularity across the country.
    Dr. Mercer goes on to ask where I and my fellow Republicans were during the healthcare debate several years ago. The answer is, we were locked outside in the hall while Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama and the Democratic majorities wrote the law as they saw fit. They ignored or rejected all Republican efforts to improve the bill. At the time, I was advocating for the same policies I support today. Unfortunately, Obamacare is the law, and it will have to be repealed before those policies can be implemented effectively.
    Finally, he asks that instead of just being part of the problem, I should become part of the solution. On that I strongly agree. The Republican Party cannot simply be the “party of no” and expect to win elections or inspire Americans to listen to their ideas. That is why I have, for the last several years, spelled out specifically which policies I support in place of Obamacare.
    Dr. Mercer doesn’t seem to be aware of my support for these policies, so let me briefly list them. 
·First, we must fully repeal Obamacare.
·Expand access to Health Savings Accounts by increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can place into their account to cover health care expenses.
·Create competition by allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines and enables small businesses to pool together to increase their buying power.
·Equalize tax treatment for those who purchase health insurance through the individual market and those who receive a plan through their employer. This standard deduction would result in a tax cut for most Americans.
·Protect individuals with pre-existing conditions against discrimination and allow young people to stay on their parents plans for longer (both of these were included in Obamacare, but remember, they increase the cost of insurance, they don’t reduce it!).
·Reform medical malpractice laws to limit economic damages and trail lawyer fees while still protecting patients.

    There is a bill in the House called the American Health Care Reform Act which does all these things. I am a cosponsor of this bill, as are 126 of my colleagues (the media has also chosen to ignore this bill).  It would institute real reform by reducing health care costs, protecting medical professionals and increasing access to care.
    There are many other policies that I support, including prescription drug re-importation, which would control prescription drug costs by allowing Americans to buy FDA-approved prescription drugs from places such as Canada and Europe where drugs are sold for much less money. I have also supported legislation to repeal exemptions for insurance companies from federal antitrust laws, eliminate taxes on medical devices, and lift the ban on rural hospitals’ ability to obtain discounts for “orphan drugs.”
     These are not new ideas—and many of them already have support on both sides of the aisle, and should be implemented as soon as Obamacare is repealed by Congress.
     I respect Dr. Mercer’s opinion. As a medical professional, he has seen many of the challenges facing our health system first hand, and I have no doubt he has devoted his life to his patients. That being said, I hope he would do his research before accusing me of lying to Idahoans. 
     Moving forward, I am going to continue to advocate a full repeal of Obamacare, as well as support policies that will return health care decisions back into the hands of patients, families, and doctors—not government bureaucrats.


Congressman Mike Simpson, a Republican, represents Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Blaine County.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.