COLUMN: There’s a Better Way: Health Care, Taxes and Our National Defense
I recently shared the feedback I received when I asked over 100,000 people across the Third Congressional District if they thought today’s kids are on track to be better off than their parents. What I found out is that too many people in Colorado think our country is moving in the wrong direction. In the House, Republicans have developed the Better Way Agenda to change this.
I discussed the first part of the agenda – to address poverty, jumpstart our economy, and strengthen Constitutional authority – a couple of weeks back. The second half of the plan will allow us to make sure every American has access to quality, affordable health care, simplify our tax code so most people will be able to do their taxes on a form the size of a postcard, and protect Americans from terrorist threats at home and abroad.
Before Obamacare was signed into law, the president promised time and again that families would be able to keep the health plans that worked best for them. We know this was a broken promise because earlier this year, over 92,000 Coloradans were told they would lose their health care plans after insurers in the state had to cut back their plan offerings as a result of the financial losses they had incurred from offering Obamacare-mandated plans in the marketplace.
The president also said that the law would lower premiums for the average family by $2,500. This hasn’t happened either. And it’s not just the premiums that have gone up – the deductibles have too. The average deductible for a silver plan on the individual market in 2016 was $2,994. How many Americans in today’s economy can afford to spend nearly $3,000 dollars before their health insurance kicks in – especially after already paying higher premiums? The damage isn’t limited to the individual insurance market, either. In fact, the premiums in job-based coverage have increased by $3,775 on average for families.
All Americans should have access to affordable health insurance, but federal control of our health care system has made health insurance the exact opposite of accessible and affordable. Over the past several years, the House has put forward ideas to improve health care, and now, we are bringing all of these ideas together in the Better Way health care plan. Under a Better Way, we’ll fully repeal Obamacare and hit reset. We’ll preserve employee-sponsored health insurance, make Medicare and Medicaid sustainable in the long-term, and give anyone who doesn’t have access to health insurance through these avenues an advanceable, refundable tax credit to help offset the cost of purchasing an insurance plan of their choice.
We’ll make sure no American is ever denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, return more control of Medicaid back to the states, and allow families to purchase insurance plans across state lines to make sure they are getting the best coverage possible. The specifics of our plan are very extensive, and I encourage you to read the step-by-step guide at www.better.gop.
Obamacare has only added to our already overly-complicated tax code. Simply put, our tax code is a mess. There are too many brackets, too many loopholes, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has grown out of control. The Better Way tax plan will help achieve three goals: simplicity and fairness in the tax code, more jobs and economic growth, and a smaller IRS that provides better customer service.
We’ll have only three tax brackets, the highest individual income tax rate will be 33 percent, and the tax code will be so simple that most Americans will be able to complete their annual taxes on a form as simple as a postcard. Small businesses will be eligible for a low tax rate of 25 percent, and the United States will be the best place in the world to start and grow a business again, because our corporate tax rate will no longer be the highest in the industrialized world. We’ll also get federal bureaucrats out of the way and cut the IRS down to three major units: one for individuals and families, one for businesses, and one that will serve as a “small claims court” to resolve routine disputes.
The Better Way Agenda will help put us back on track, but all of our work will be for nothing if we can’t ensure our families and our communities are safe from terrorist threats at home and abroad. The president’s failed foreign policy has made the world a more dangerous place. Once called the “JV team” by President Obama, ISIS is now one of the greatest threats to our way of life. Iran continues to violate the nuclear agreement that the president approved despite Congress voting against it, the administration’s policy on Libya turned the country in to a failed state, and the Syrian refugee crisis has left the U.S. and our European allies vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
Under a Better Way, we will secure our borders, keep terrorists out of our country, and address the threat of cyberattacks. We will take decisive action in the fight against Islamic terror by building a broad coalition of international partners who will help us implement a true victory strategy in the Middle East. We’ll also make sure that our men and women in uniform have every resource they need to accomplish their missions and protect our families from the groups that wish to do us harm.
We have an opportunity to restore confidence in America by addressing some of the biggest challenges facing our nation. This is what the Better Way Agenda is all about. I encourage you to read through the entire plan at www.better.gop. I’d love to hear your feedback on any of the six planks, so feel free to give my office a call at 202-225-4761 or write to me through my website at www.tipton.house.gov.