This week marks seven years since Obamacare became the law of the land.
We could go on about all the failures and broken promises, but I think Bill Clinton may have put it best when he called Obamacare “the craziest thing in the world.”
Are we going to give this insanity an eighth year? Or are we going to keep our promise to repeal and replace this law for good? That is the opportunity before us, if we pass the American Health Care Act.
I’m no stranger to debates among conservatives. I’ve been having them for more than 20 years. And I know how serious we all are about keeping our vow to repeal and replace Obamacare.
So when people step back, you will see we are on the verge of doing some big things that we have long believed in:
- Repealing Obamacare’s mandates that force people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage.
- Repealing Obamacare’s spending by ending the expansion of Medicaid and eliminating open-subsidies.
- Repealing Obamacare’s taxes in order to provide massive tax relief for hardworking people.
- Defederalizing Medicaid and giving states the power to tailor benefits to the needs of their most vulnerable—strengthening this critical lifeline for millions of Americans.
- Creating a vibrant market where insurance companies have to treat you fairly and compete for your business.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood and diverting those resources to community health centers.
- Ending the way the tax code discriminates against people who don’t get coverage through their job or a government program.
- Strengthening health savings accounts (HSAs) by nearly doubling the amount you can contribute and giving you more control over your health care dollars.
Put simply, all of the freedom and control that Obamacare has taken away, we are giving that back to the people.
We aren’t stopping there. As you know, the same Senate rules that help us get around a filibuster and put this on President Trump’s desk also prevent us from putting every idea we like in the bill. That doesn’t mean we quit on those things — far from it. This week, in fact, the House will also vote on bills to eliminate anti-trust protections for insurance providers and allow small businesses to band together so they can negotiate for better prices.
And there are all the actions HHS Secretary Tom Price is taking to deregulate the market and provide more power to states and consumers. So this is an across-the-board effort.
It is also Democrats’ worst nightmare. Up until President Trump’s victory, they had plans to double down on Obamacare and move us even closer to government-run health care.
Now we have a chance to end this experiment’s seven-year run for good. Pass the American Health Care Act, and we take back our health care system for the American people.
Congressman Paul Ryan is the 54th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.