Editor’s note: This story pairs with another titled “Utah Medicaid recipients find healthcare options shrinking under Affordable Care Act.”
Former President Barack Obama’s promise that the Affordable Care Act would allow citizens to keep their healthcare plans and their doctors was the lie that sold it into law, according to Rep. Jason Chaffetz R-Utah.
Chaffetz recently told the The Daily Universe he is not happy about the way the former president’s healthcare reform package has played out.
“The lie was you would keep your doctor, and you would save $2,500,” Chaffetz said. “That’s just not true.”
The Utah representative said the costs of pharmaceuticals that continued to rise were only part of the problem for patients. Both premiums and deductibles have seen price hikes — sometimes dramatic hikes — since the healthcare reform plan was signed into law in 2010.
Chaffetz’ comments came as Republicans in Congress continue debating among themselves over the Republican version of President Donald Trump’s much-touted healthcare replacement plan.
The congressman said while he and his colleagues have worked to repeal Obamacare in Washington D.C. that the better solutions have not always come out of the nation’s capital. He said the federal government needs to be more engaged in providing block grants to the state — a fixed amount of money that the government has given to the state for a specific purpose.
If Congress repeals Obamacare without a plan to replace the current system, the move would leave approximately 20 million Americans without health insurance, Chaffetz said.
He said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has it right — that the local solutions Utah officials could come up with would exceed those that could ever come out of Washington.
“We need to deal with pre-existing conditions and allowing people to buy products —insurance products — across state lines,” Chaffetz said.
Obamacare was crafted at the direction of the former president with the intention it would extend healthcare coverage to those who could not pay for it themselves. Chaffetz said it is absolutely possible to create a working healthcare plan that includes extending a generous hand to those in need.
“We’re a compassionate nation; of course we’re going to do that,” Chaffetz said. “But it does require participation and personal responsibility, and that’s exactly what we’re working on.”