Over the past weeks and months, I have met with numerous hospital representatives, healthcare providers and constituents in our communities. Congress’ goal is to ensure there will be a stable transition to a better health care system.

The Affordable Care Act has been everything but affordable and is collapsing across the country, raising costs for patients and forcing insurers out of the marketplace, which leaves patients and families with nowhere to go.

Currently, 4.7 million people are without an insurer, one of three counties only have one option and it is going to get worse.  On February 14th, Health Insurance provider Humana announced they would be pulling out of Obamacare markets completely, citing a failing system and massive financial losses.  Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said on February 15th that the Obamacare Marketplaces are in a “death spiral” and doomed to fail. “It’s not going to get any better; it’s getting worse.”

We must repeal Obamacare and replace it with a 21st century healthcare system. Under our plan, the following protections will not go away. Republicans have never supported the removal of these provisions and have included them in all proposals to date:

  • Protect patients with pre-existing conditions: Ensures you will never be denied healthcare coverage regardless of their health status.
  • Protect coverage for young people: Allows dependents up to age 26 stay on their parents’ plan.
  • Prohibits insurers from turning away patients when you renew your plan simply because you may be sick.

Additionally, the plan the House is working on will allow more choices and lower costs including:

  • Portable insurance: Individuals without healthcare access will be offered a refundable tax credit to help buy insurance in the market. These benefits move with you from job to job and into retirement.
  • Allow small businesses and individuals to band together: New pooling mechanisms lets businesses and individuals to increase purchasing power and negotiate for lower prices.

I believe we must also restore Medicaid to the original intent of the program – providing health care services to low income children, their caretaker relatives, the blind, and individuals with disabilities. 

Congressman Daniel Webster represents The Villages in the U.S. House of Representatives.