Sunday, June 28, 2015

Supreme Court Decision Reinforces Need for Patient-Centered Solutions in Health Care

This week, the Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated ruling in King v. Burwell. Americans have awaited the Court's decision for months, and many hoped this case could serve as a needed check on the Obama administration's health care overreach. Unfortunately, the Court dealt a setback to both the rule of law and the American people by ruling in favor of the administration.

In King v. Burwell, the Court had to determine whether the insurance subsidies provided by the President's health care law to those who purchased plans on the federal exchange were unlawful. The law as written says subsidies are available to individuals who purchase insurance through state exchanges, but the administration expanded these subsidies to include those who purchased insurance from federally-operated Healthcare.gov.

By a 6-3 ruling, the Court upheld Obamacare's subsidies. I am disappointed with the Court's decision, and I remain committed to finding solutions for Nebraskans who are suffering under Obamacare's regulations, price increases, and broken promises.

President Obama insists his health care law is working, but he chooses to ignore the millions of Americans struggling to pay rising premiums and all those who lost their insurance after being told they could keep it. Despite my multiple inquiries to the administration, there is still no resolution for the 80,000 Nebraskans impacted by CoOportunity Health's liquidation. This certainly does not reflect a working law.

The collapse of CoOportunity Health, a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan created under the President's health care law, left tens of thousands of Nebraskans once again searching for insurance with even fewer options. At a Ways and Means subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, I raised questions about CoOportunity Health with Julie McPeak, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

Tennessee's Community Health Alliance, also an Obamacare Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan, was given permission to suspend enrollment when warning signs of insolvency arose. For unknown reasons, CoOportunity Health was not allowed to do the same. I am still working to get answers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as to why this happened and what can be done to help those impacted by this Obamacare failure.

In the meantime, I will also continue working to roll back Obamacare's regulations and restore consumer choice in health care. Over the past couple weeks, the House has passed two major health care reforms which I cosponsored and supported in my role on the Ways and Means Committee. One of these bills, the Protecting Seniors' Access to Medicare Act, would repeal Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to prevent a panel of unelected bureaucrats from determining the types of care seniors can receive. Secondly, the Protect Medical Innovation Act would repeal the medical device tax and encourage investment in life-saving medical advancements. These bills have been sent to the Senate for consideration.

Though the King v. Burwell ruling is a setback, it only reinforces the need to find patient-centered solutions for the issues Americans across the country are facing with their health care. In the wake of the Court's decision, we will continue our efforts to help those impacted by Obamacare's rising insurance costs, burdensome regulations, and bureaucratic mismanagement.

About the Author:

Congressman Adrian Smith from Nebraska serves on the Committee on Ways and Means. Congressional Rural Caucus (Chair), Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus (Chair), Modern Agriculture Caucus (Chair), Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Congressional Western Caucus and Congressional General Aviation Caucus.

Smith has been noted for his consistent voting against tax increases, massive government bailouts, and in his opposition of the affordable healthcare act (aka ObamaCare) which is creating massive uncertainty for our nation's job creators.

Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.

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