Real reform possible

To the Editor:

It seems like the book on the president’s health care law has closed, but the Supreme Court’s decision in June was just another chapter in a very long saga of a very bad bill.

Two years ago when the bill was passed, it contained no fewer than 21 tax increases, including the big one: the $750 fine for everyone who does not purchase a government-approved plan.

Now that it’s clear that this tax will stay in place until repealed, the House of Representatives is ready and waiting to do the right thing. In January 2011, my very first vote as a member of Congress was cast in support of repealing the law. Today, I voted to repeal it again.

In the meantime, I have spoken with more than 100 northern Illinois business owners, doctors and experts about ways to move forward with policies that will help the economy and drive down health care prices. They include:

• Allow the purchase of insurance across state lines. This would allow for more competition, and subsequently, lower prices.

• Reform lawsuit abuse. When frivolous or overly ambitious lawsuits are filed against doctors and hospitals, defensive medicine costs skyrocket.

• Allow tax deductions for preventive health costs.

• Disclose information about hospital charges.

I’m also strongly in favor of keeping provisions allowing college students to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, as well as measures prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Real reform is possible.

Randy Hultgren

U.S. Congress, Illinois’ 14th District

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