Congressman Gallagher: We Must Focus On Healthcare Solutions, Not Talking Points
As anyone who’s turned on the TV in the last two years surely knows, the healthcare conversation too often devolves into partisan bickering that’s heavy on politically charged rhetoric and light on concrete solutions.
Healthcare is not just the number one issue I hear about from my constituents, it’s one of the most important issues facing our country. But instead of coming to the table to work together on lowering healthcare costs, many of my colleagues are focused on using healthcare as a political wedge and a way to politically posture themselves.
Take for example the vote on the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019. This bill has a nice title, but it actually has nothing to do with protecting individuals with preexisting conditions. Instead, it takes away a state’s ability to come up with creative solutions to lower premiums and expand coverage. States like Wisconsin relied on provisions like this to lower costs, and did so with tremendous success. We should be finding more ways for states to achieve these goals, not less.
In Congress, I have consistently voted to protect those with pre-existing conditions. I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 692, which would ensure those with a pre-existing condition maintain coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. And I am committed to working with my colleagues on ways we can improve every aspect of our healthcare system.
I believe that there are more bipartisan areas of agreement on this issue than just protecting those with pre-existing conditions. In fact, I wrote about some of them in an op-ed just last month. The ideas are simple: require price transparency from healthcare providers, eliminate surprise billing, and improve access to medical data.
The bottom line is: we can’t continue to waste time voting on bills that serve as nothing more than a political talking point. The more we politicize this issue, the more we risk making coverage more complex and unaffordable, and that's unacceptable. You didn't send me to Washington to just talk about problems, and that's why I'm committed to finding real solutions to issues like rising healthcare costs.
This Congress, Republicans and Democrats can and must come together to lower healthcare costs for all Americans. That's why I've re-introduced bipartisan legislation like H.R. 1409, the Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2019, and am working on multiple pieces of bipartisan bills to bring more transparency to our confusing healthcare system. And I stand ready to work with my colleagues on advancing these kinds of meaningful reforms that will lower costs, provide quality care, and put patients back in control of their healthcare.
Congressman Mike Gallagher