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Congressman Tom Reed

Representing the 23rd District of New York

Ensuring Access to Health Care

Health issues affect us all and it is only fair that we return to patient-focused care that is affordable and accessible.

Health care costs are crippling employees and employers alike. The President’s health care law enacted in 2010 did nothing to address the root problem of health care: the cost. The law’s negative impacts remain a huge concern as we continue to see jobs, wages, and hours threatened.

For the first time in history, Obamacare has defined a full-time employee as working 30 hours per week, as opposed to the 40-hour work week that has been widely accepted for decades. This redefinition is causing small businesses to completely restructure their workforce and force them to reduce hours, resulting in employees losing their full-time wages. We need to be fair to hourly workers and protect their hours and wages which is why I co-sponsored legislation to restore the 40 hour definition.

We continue to hear from constituents who were promised they could keep their healthcare if they wanted to – a promise that has clearly been broken. When these New Yorkers turn to the exchanges to find similar coverage to the plans they had hoped to keep, many saw and continue to see higher insurance premiums. This is not fair and we must fight for those who are experiencing these increases in cost. We are also concerned the health care law ties the hands of New York State government with regard to Medicaid reform. The cost of Medicaid is the single largest cost driver of New York State property taxes.

In the House, I have co-sponsored legislation to repeal a number of negative aspects of the law, including the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) and Medical Device Tax – two additional taxes that affect our small businesses, manufacturers, and employees. We also supported legislation to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board when the House of Representatives voted on it earlier in the 114th Congress. It is not fair that a group of unelected bureaucrats are charged with determining what services will and will not be paid for by Medicare.

We have seen significant changes to  the President’s health care law and we will continue to work to lessen the negative impacts and costs to our businesses and employees.

That is why I have voted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a common sense solution which addresses spiraling health care costs and ensures that all Americans have access to the care they need. The President’s health care law promised Americans lower premiums but instead we have seen premiums increase even more.

We need more patient-centered solutions to our health care challenges. Here are a few of the policies we will advocate for going forward that will make health care more accessible and affordable for everyone:

  1. I support the notion that all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions and past illnesses, get coverage at affordable prices.
  2. I support competition by allowing Americans to shop for coverage from coast to coast.
  3. I support tort reform to help end unnecessary tests and procedures that doctors sometimes order which drive costs up, not because it is good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.
  4. I support coverage for young adults up to age 26 under their parents’ policies.
  5. I support fixing the “donut hole” so seniors aren’t paying exorbitant costs of out of pocket for prescription drugs and other medical necessities.

We will move forward carefully and with due diligence to reform Medicaid and Medicare, as well as Obamacare, to stop costs from being passed down to every county, town, city and village in our district. Taxpayers can no longer bear the burden of these costs, and only real, common sense health care reform will alleviate some of this burden.