“Premiums have skyrocketed over 100 percent … Failure is not an option”

Tiberi Lays Out the Stakes for Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH-12) appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning to discuss the effort underway on Capitol Hill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Tiberi serves as Chairman of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health.  As such, he will be one of the key architects of any reform plan that is approved.  In his remarks, he made clear that replacing the problem-plagued health care law will not be accomplished in one fell swoop.  Rather, it will be a multi-step process that will require White House leadership and Democrat support.

“We’re not going to do it in one bill,” Tiberi stated.  “When the Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, it wasn’t in one bill.  It wasn’t just reconciliation.  And it wasn’t just passing a law. Kathleen Sebelius was given incredible authority at HHS to implement the Affordable Care Act. And quite frankly, they were continuing to do that last year under the new administrator designee, Andy Slavitt, and the new HHS Secretary.

“And so we know — and Tom Price, the new Secretary, knows — that much can be done to unwind it and replace it at HHS.  We’re not sure exactly what, but he’s in that process right now. That will actually help us a ton to allow us to know what we actually have to do through reconciliation.  We’re still trying to figure out what we can do through reconciliation because of the Byrd Rule in the Senate, and where votes might be in the Senate.  And that process continues to take a little bit of time.”

As the Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, Tiberi has led the charge on solutions to increase choices, reduce costs and put patients at the center of our health care system.   He has also established a reputation as someone who is willing to work across the aisle to get things done.

“I told this to Sandy Levin yesterday,” he said, recalling the conversation he had with the Health Subcommittee’s Ranking Member about the possibility that some reforms could be considered through a series of smaller bills.  “We’d like to get Democrat support.  It’s not just about repealing.  Maybe it’s about modifying some provisions of the Affordable Care Act that we can get some Democrats to agree to in the House.  Because we’re going to need Democrats in the Senate to agree to them.  And obviously right now the environment’s really toxic — really, really toxic.”

Despite these and other challenges, Tiberi said that both Congress and the President remain committed to moving ahead with reform and solving the many health care problems that people face.

“Premiums have skyrocketed over 100 percent,” the veteran lawmaker said.  “We had another health insurance company announce just yesterday that they were pulling out of the exchange.  We’ve known now for a long time that this is unsustainable.  I would argue that it was designed to be unsustainable.  So we’re continuing to try to have that discussion. But we are committed to do this. We have to do this.  Failure is not an option.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.