Babin: An opportunity to restore health care freedom

Published 11:46 am Monday, June 8, 2015

By Dr. Brian Babin

Soon the U.S. Supreme Court will issue its highly anticipated ruling in King v. Burwell.  If the Court rules against the President it will have a profound effect on Obamacare.
The law clearly states that subsidies to purchase health care insurance can only be granted “through an exchange established by the State.”  After 33 states – including Texas – chose not to establish an exchange, the Obama Administration unilaterally rewrote the law to hand out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to those who lived in states without exchanges and signed up through a federal-exchange plan.
The law is clear and the Administration overstepped its prerogative.  Under the U.S. Constitution, laws are written by the legislative branch of government, not the President.
The Court will most likely strike down the Administration’s unlawful actions, and when they do, it will give the people’s body – the U.S. Congress – the opportunity to provide much-needed relief to millions of Americans.
Just this past week, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that next year Americans will once again see double digit increases in their Obamacare health care premiums.
I hear daily from many of those I have the privilege of representing who want their health care freedom restored so they can buy an affordable plan that meets their needs.  This includes a constituent from Chambers County who recently wrote to express her need for relief from Obamacare and her almost $600 per month premium that has “a $12,000 deductible before it will pay anything.”
A resident of Jasper wrote about how her granddaughter cannot afford an Obamacare health plan and is now being forced to pay a tax penalty.  Tom from Newton County shared how he is now being forced to pay more for the same coverage.  One of my own family members recently told me that their health care premium is now their largest monthly bill.
It’s more than just relief from the high costs of insurance that the American people want.  Carolyn shared with me how the law has resulted in her work hours being cut from 40 hours a week to 25 hours a week.  That affects take-home pay and the ability to provide for her family.
Should the Supreme Court strike down the Administration’s unilateral actions, Congress must use this opportunity to build an off-ramp from this disastrous law for Tom, Carolyn, Sarah and millions of other Americans who want relief.
We must restore patient-centered health care, and empower Americans with the ability to choose an affordable plan that meets their needs.  The American people have clearly spoken and they don’t want a Washington-driven system.
States should be granted a complete opt out of Obamacare.  We should repeal the costly insurance mandates and strengthen provisions that protect individuals and their families.  This includes repealing the individual and employer mandates – while protecting Americans from having their health insurance cancelled when they get sick.  We should also grant Americans refundable tax credits so they can purchase affordable state-regulated insurance.
As a health care provider myself for 38 years, I have seen firsthand how Obamacare undermines the doctor-patient relationship.  It’s costing us jobs and take-home pay, and has resulted in millions of Americans losing the health care they had and wanted to keep; exactly the opposite of what President Obama promised us.
The American people are fed up with this terrible law – its higher costs, broken promises and being told what they need.  With Obamacare facing a lethal blow, Congress must use this opportunity to lead the American people towards patient-focused care rather than government-directed care.

Dr. Brian Babin is the U.S. Congressional Representative for the 36th District