WASHINGTON | February 6, 2019
In a hearing House Democrats scripted and orchestrated to distort the record and intimidate Americans with pre-existing conditions, Committee Republicans seized the opportunity to affirm their commitment to Americans with pre-existing health conditions and shed new light on the ways a strong economy gives all Americans the healthcare options they desperately need.
“Americans with pre-existing conditions need health insurance. This is a fact, a value that Congress has affirmed now countless times. It’s also the law,” Republican Leader Foxx said in her opening statement.
She went on to say, “So it’s perplexing why Committee Democrats are even holding this hearing, and by doing so they are trying to make it about threats. Instead, this hearing should focus on how the strong economy with its extraordinary job growth is increasing the number of workers with employer-sponsored health coverage.”
According to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 152 million Americans are insured through employer-sponsored health plans. This represents the majority of the American workforce and eclipses the number of Americans covered in the individual market, Medicare, or Medicaid.
“Employers know that high quality health coverage leads to better health outcomes and a healthier workforce,” Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute testified. “Long before the ACA mandate, they offered preventive and wellness services because they know that addressing health issues before they become a crisis can minimize costs and lead to better outcomes.”
As the U.S. economy and job market continue to roar forward, smart employers are offering competitive benefits packages (including health care coverage) to attract and retain employees.
“Since 2013, 7 million more Americans have gained employer-sponsored health care coverage, with 2.6 million gaining coverage since President Trump took office. The plans employers offer are, on average, higher quality and provide better value than what can be found on the individual market,” Republican Leader Foxx said in her opening statement.
Last Congress, Committee Republicans led Congressional efforts to broaden access to association health plans (AHPs) – arrangements that allow small businesses to band together to negotiate for better health coverage at lower costs on behalf of their employees. These efforts culminated in the House passage of the Small Business Health Fairness Act, and the Department of Labor’s final rule expanding access to AHPs.
Republican Leader Foxx concluded her opening statement by saying, “Committee Republicans welcome this opportunity once again to assure Americans with pre-existing conditions that their coverage is protected. House Republicans will continue to champion legislative solutions to combat some of the most pressing problems facing our health care system, including skyrocketing costs, the high prices of certain drugs, the industry’s lack of cost transparency, and the looming threat of a single-payer system. These are the factors that pose the REAL threat to Americans having options that work for them.”
To learn more about association health plans, click here.
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