Your View: Guest Column - ACA lesson: Washington doesn’t know best

Dec. 27, 2013 @ 10:58 PM

BY REP. VIRGINIA FOXX

With the exception of its well-publicized website problems, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is working as planned. That’s right. What we’re seeing now – the millions of soon-to-be-cancelled health insurance plans – is exactly how Obamacare was designed to work.
Millions of American families, thousands of whom are North Carolinians, have received notice that the health insurance plans they chose, that are serving their needs well, do not satisfy the standards established by the so-called Affordable Care Act. That’s because President Obama, Congressional Democrats and unaccountable regulators decided to make those insurance plans illegal.
This is by design. For Obamacare to have a shot at working, millions of healthy Americans must lose the personalized coverage they have and like, and pay more for insurance they don’t want and won’t fully use.
That’s exactly why Obamacare regulations determining which insurance options would be allowed to continue were written so stringently — to disqualify many existing health plans and force Americans into government health care exchanges to buoy the system’s financial viability.
Every Democrat in Washington who supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act knows this — or at least they should have known. In fact, many specifically voted to keep families from being able to keep the care they liked.
This is where the arrogance of government central planners meets reality.
Though many admittedly knew this would happen, members of the government establishment thought their subsidized Washington-sanctioned insurance alternatives would be so attractive to the American people that Americans would be distracted from the President’s broken promise — you know, the one where he said, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”
Well, Americans don’t quickly forget promises of such magnitude, and they aren’t impressed with what they’ve seen from Obamacare thus far.
Hundreds of North Carolinians have written to tell me what Obamacare means for themselves and their families. Sadly, cancelled plans, vastly higher premiums and mandated unnecessary coverage is the norm among their correspondence.  And it breaks my heart to know so many families are struggling to figure out how they will manage to pay for health insurance in the years to come.
It was a “Washington-knows-best” attitude that carried the Affordable Care Act across the legislative finish line three years ago — without a single bipartisan vote of support.
The “Washington-knows-best” attitude is what we’re still fighting today. Though Obamacare’s broken promises abound, too many Democrats in Washington are refusing legislatively to scale back or repeal the law’s most grievous elements.
President Obama crafted a weak attempt to shake some of the blame for his erring words about Americans being able to keep the insurance they liked. He’s said his Administration won’t enforce the rules that govern health insurance plans for one year. But after that, the plans many like will be cancelled.
Whether the promise breaks this coming year or next, it’s still a broken promise.
And that is quite revealing. A startling number in the president’s party have no intention of keeping that promise for the long term. In a recent committee hearing, one Representative from New Jersey told me why. He said, “I don’t think that the freedom to choose a ‘lousy policy’…is something we need to safeguard.”
I doubt the frustrated North Carolinians who have written to me about cancelled health plans would agree that the coverage they chose for their families is “lousy” or “bare-bones” or “skeletal” like some in the “Washington-knows-best” crowd have suggested.
On behalf of these families who want to keep the freedom to choose the health care policies that work for them — that provide the coverage they need, and that fit into their budgets — I am working with members of both parties to end the broken promises. One honest, patient-centered alternative to consider is the American Health Care Reform Act I am proud to cosponsor.

Rep. Virginia Foxx of Watauga County represents North Carolin’s 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

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