Weekly Columns

Americans deserve access to quality, affordable healthcare. As a healthcare provider and small business owner, I know we must transform our system to achieve this goal. Two years ago President Obama signed his proposal overhauling our health care system into law. Having spent more than 25 years as an eye doctor, I saw this sweeping legislation as the wrong approach to resolving the issues doctors and patients face every day.

The law fails to address the fundamental problem facing our health care system: the cost. Instead of tackling this issue, President Obama expanded government healthcare programs already going broke and adds to our already ballooning national debt. This law comes with a hefty price tag that puts us on an unsustainable path.

A recent report by the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed the law will cost us $1.75 trillion over nine years—that’s $900 billion more than what the President promised it would cost over the course of 10 years.

The fact that it does nothing to contain costs is just one of the broken promises of this law.

Remember when the President promised: “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it”? Sadly, this has proven false. The same CBO report concluded that four million fewer Americans will receive employer-based health care coverage under this law. 

An analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) found that by 2014 about two-thirds of all health care in this country will be funded by the government. This shift will deny patients a choice in their health care and force them to allow the government to choose the best action for their health services.

It also threatens health care for millions of seniors and Medicare beneficiaries. The President’s law strips $500 billion from Medicare and dramatically increases the number of Medicaid recipients. The additional users will increase by nearly 25 million, costing states another $118 billion.

In Arkansas, an estimated 250,000 people will be forced into Medicaid. This means one third of the population will receive this government health care, bringing Medicaid rolls up to 1 million. This comes as Arkansas’s Medicaid program already faces a shortfall of $400 million next year.

We are already experiencing the massive government expansion under this law. By one count, the law creates more than 159 new boards, offices, and panels in the federal government to make decisions about our health care. It also gave sweeping new powers to the secretary of Health and Human Services to control our personal health care decisions.his is not the health care reform Americans deserve. While I voted for its repeal, the Senate ultimately upheld the law, but the cornerstone individual mandate that requires all Americans to buy health insurance whether they want it or not is being challenged in court. The case is currently before the Supreme Court.

We need to put patients back in charge of their health decision and provide quality, affordable access to the care we all deserve. We can accomplish this by repealing this health care law and replacing it with commonsense reforms that lower costs and with the support of the American people.

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