RGA Statement on Anniversary of Obamacare

Republican Governors Association Chairman Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today on the second anniversary of Obamacare:

“The two years following the enactment of President Obama’s national healthcare takeover have made clear that the law is unsustainable, unworkable and unconstitutional.  Its estimated costs have already doubled, and premiums continue to rise.  The law restricts the abilities of governors and state legislatures to manage healthcare programs for the citizens of their states while simultaneously shifting billions of dollars in unfunded costs to the states.  Most alarming, if upheld, President Obama’s healthcare law would usher in a brave new world of federal power.

Republicans recognize that our current healthcare system is broken, but know there is a way to improve it that doesn’t require an unprecedented expansion in the size and scope of the federal government. Republican governors are putting forward a realistic healthcare plan that would improve the quality of care, expand access and make healthcare more affordable by focusing on market-centered reforms, eliminating the one-size fits-all approach preferred by the Obama administration and allowing states the flexibility to innovate.

Last year, Republican governors detailed 31 specific recommendations for transforming Medicaid.  This year, Republican governors are taking the next step and developing a comprehensive healthcare reform blueprint that builds on the following principles:

1. Health care reform should emphasize health: Health and well-being are determined by more than health services used. Employment, education and personal choices influence the health of each American. Unfortunately, the health care law undermines employment and limits personal choice. Meaningful reform should emphasize health by expanding economic opportunity and aligning incentives for Americans to make healthier personal choices that can drive improvements throughout the health care system.

2. Responsibility is best fostered through individual incentives and not an oppressive federal mandate that violates the economic freedoms of Americans: Americans should be in control of their health and the decisions regarding their care. Individuals and families, not governments, are best able to decide the right course of action, which is why price and quality transparency are essential to meaningful reform.

3. Health care reform should enable Medicaid to restore and maintain the economic independence as well as health status of the neediest Americans: Medicaid should be a bridge, not a barrier, to independence. Public assistance programs should be designed to offer support for disabled Americans and help individuals return to or maintain economic independence as well as health status.

4. Health care reform should increase design flexibility in Medicaid and the private insurance market to improve coverage choices: Increasing design flexibility in Medicaid and the private insurance market will strengthen access to care for patients, reduce the regulatory burden that increases the cost of care and lead to innovative programs.

5. Health care reform should align delivery system incentives to improve the value of patient care: Delivery incentives should be aligned to focus on quality, value-based and patient-centered programs that improve health — driving value over volume and quality over quantity while containing costs.

6. Health care reform should foster state innovation to improve health care systems: States are best able to make decisions about the design of their health care systems based on the needs, culture and values of their citizens. Reform should reduce the federal disruption in state and local health care markets while increasing accountability.

7. Health care reform should address unsustainable spending at the family, state and federal levels to ease the debt burden that threatens our future: Families, states and the federal government face a dangerous budgetary outlook made worse by this health care law. The budget problem is spending; correcting it means empowering individuals and fixing the Tax Code to remove hidden costs from the health care system.