Thoughts on the proposal to replace the ACA

3/10/2017

I am opposed to the current health care proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will reduce the number of Texans who currently have access to health care, roll back benefits, and make health insurance less affordable.

I also acknowledge that the current law (ACA or Obamacare) is not good enough. Although the ACA has helped more than a million Texans gain access to health care, it is far from perfect. It has still not fully addressed access to doctors or the ability of small clinics and individual practitioners to stay in business. We also see cases of premium increases, deductible size and coverage gaps effectively denying coverage to far too many. We’ve also seen a decrease in the number of insurance companies participating in the health care exchanges throughout the United States.

That is why earlier this year I convened a roundtable with health care providers, small business owners and health care leaders in El Paso to get their suggestions on how to improve the ACA.

I have outlined those suggestions in a preliminary letter sent to Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Greg Walden, which you can read below.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans can or should address health care unilaterally. Hopefully we’ve learned something from 2010. I offer these suggestions and my willingness to work to improve access, timeliness, cost and outcomes in our nation’s health care to all of my colleagues regardless of party.

I’m confident that working together we can do better than either the status quo or the proposed replacement.

Likewise, I will keep an open mind and will approach with good faith the proposals from my colleagues even if (and maybe especially) they don’t see things exactly the way I do. I believe in this country and the basic desire we all have to get this right.