Vote YES to HR 1628 and HR 2192

May 4, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Representative,

You will soon vote on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and H.R. 2192, which will guarantee that the provisions of H.R. 1628 will apply to members of Congress and their staff.  On behalf of the more than 1.2 million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I ask that you support these bills.

The passage of H.R. 1628 is a major step to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.  After several weeks of negotiations and compromise, many concerns with the original legislation have been addressed.  It is now time to vote.

AHCA repeals the individual mandate and the employer mandate penalty taxes, along with terminating taxes on medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and health insurance, all of which have helped to drive up costs.  It allows states to submit waiver applications to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow more flexible age rating ratios and change essential health benefits if the states can show that doing so will improve health insurance access by lowering premium costs, increasing the choice of health plans, or expanding enrollment.

Robust funding provided through the Patient and State Stability Fund and the federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program will help to stabilize the individual health insurance market, while giving states the ability to find the best way to lower costs for their citizens, especially those with low incomes, special health needs, and pre-existing conditions.

AHCA also provides the most substantial reforms to Medicaid since the program was enacted in 1965.  It stops further Medicaid expansion, while grandfathering those that gained health coverage under the program with the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) as long as they remain eligible and enrolled.  It modernizes financing of the program by utilizing a per capita allotment funding mechanism or a block grant, which would allow states to innovate and deliver better healthcare for their citizens.

H.R. 1628 nearly doubles the amount that can be contributed to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), allows catch-up contributions, and increases HSA flexibility.

It provides advanceable, refundable tax credits to help low- and middle-income individuals and families to purchase health insurance.  Tax credits have long been a staple of conservative healthcare reform proposals, not only to purchase insurance, but also as a mechanism to equalize the tax treatment of individual and employer-based insurance.

Under the rules of reconciliation, including the Byrd Rule in the Senate, as well as the recognition that Senate Republicans do not enjoy a filibuster-proof majority of at least 60 votes, H.R 1628 does all that can be done by a simple majority to repeal and replace Obamacare with market-oriented policies.

Obamacare is in a “death spiral.”  Millions of Americans are facing uncertainty about their healthcare choices.  The policies found in AHCA, and the initiatives being undertaken by HHS Secretary Tom Price, are designed to reverse Obamacare’s overreach, return power over health insurance back to the states, and create patient-centered healthcare that will revive the direct relationship between doctors and patients.

I urge you to vote for both H.R. 1628 and H.R. 2192.  If Congress does not act, Obamacare will remain the law of the land, an outcome that is unacceptable, and a promise to the American people will have been broken.  All votes on these bills will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2017 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely, 

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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