Ellmers: Even President Clinton opposes Hillarycare
Over six years ago, President Obama signed his broken healthcare proposal into law and gave us Obamacare. To date this government takeover of our nation's healthcare system has cost hard-working Americans nearly $1.2 trillion dollars. As the presidential election draws nearer, American men and women across the country have a stark choice either to continue President Obama's failed Obamacare by electing Secretary Clinton, or to elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a common sense, affordable, and patient-centered alternative that will reduce healthcare costs and increase access to affordable, high-quality care for everyone.
As the Democratic candidate, Secretary Clinton openly boasts that Obamacare was her idea in the first place and how she helped write it based on her failed experience with Hillarycare, a proposal that was overwhelmingly rejected by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in the 1990s. Even her husband has come to the sound realization that Obamacare, or Hillarycare before it was called Obamacare, is an unsustainable policy. He described Obamacare this way earlier this week by saying, "so you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have healthcare and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It's the craziest thing in the world."
We know there is overwhelming evidence that Obamacare has not worked effectively and caused premiums to significantly increase insurance premiums. In my state of North Carolina alone, insurance premiums have dramatically increased by almost 30 percent in 2016, making our premiums some of the highest in the nation. Many young adults — who rarely visit a doctor — have been forced to purchase a health plan most don't want or need. To add insult to injury, this law was designed to redistribute money from younger populations in order to pay its staggering costs. Bottom line, this flawed law needs young and healthy adults to pay the astronomically-high premiums — or the subsequent tax penalties — in order for the Obamacare system to work.
To make matters worse, about 460,000 people in North Carolina are currently enrolled in individual plans under the ACA and the penalty for non-enrollment in 2016 is much higher than in the ACA's first two years: $695 for individuals, up to $2,085 for families, or 2.5 percent of household income. This penalty will be taken out of tax refunds and can be rolled over into future years if the taxpayer doesn't qualify for a refund in the current year.
If Secretary Clinton is elected to the White House, the existing challenges and regulatory burdens of Obamacare will only be replaced with an even more potentially burdensome Hillarycare version 2.0.
During President Bill Clinton's administration, we know then first lady Hillary Clinton unveiled her failed vision for healthcare reform and was immediately criticized by Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who said that "there is no healthcare crisis" but rather "an insurance crisis" and that "anyone who thinks [the Clinton healthcare plan] can work in the real world as presently written isn't living in it."
Just this week, the Health and Human Services secretary tried to calm fears about concerns of signing up additional enrollees prior to the sign-up period and acknowledged Obamacare will indeed require significant changes to help insurers stay in the marketplace and promote an already eroding competitive market.
The stakes for our country's healthcare system and the American public are high. Now is the time for the American people to vote for a Republican candidate that will work effectively with Congress, unlike his predecessor, to replace Obamacare with a patient centered alternative that is truly affordable and sustainable for men, women, and children in America.
Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., is a nurse by background and sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including the Subcommittee on Health.Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.
The op-ed above was published at the Washington Examiner on October 13, 2016.