March 21, 2014

Congressional hopeful Ratcliffe not a fan of Obamacare

Originally posted in the Texarkana Gazette
Article by Ashley Gardner
Staff photo by Curt Youngblood

Texarkana Gazette Congressional hopeful John Ratcliffe spoke to the Twin City Marketing Alliance on Wednesday about health care with a focus on Obamacare.

“Health-care policy is more than just health. It’s an area that affects our labor market. It’s an area that affects our economy and the bottom line, the federal debt in this country,” Ratcliffe said. The Affordable Care Act is a topic Ratcliffe has heard a lot about during his campaign.

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“One issue more than any other issue on people’s minds these days, the thing I hear more about, that incites more passion than anything else, is health care and specifically, Obamacare. There are 18 counties in the congressional district. I’ve been in all of them, and in every single one of them … someone has come up to me concerned about health care. … I do believe that Obamacare is the worst piece of legislation in my lifetime. I’m only 48, but from my perspective, it’s intrusive, it’s expensive and it just doesn’t work.”

“There is enough blame to go around. Obamacare is the law of the land right now, but the fact of the matter is before Obamacare, we didn’t have a perfect health-care system and everybody knows that,” Ratcliffe said. Part of the problem is health-care spending is out of control, he said. “We spend way more on health care than any other country in the world and … the worst part of that is out of every dollar spent on health care in this country, 30 cents out of every dollar is lost to either fraud, waste or abuse, so it’s misdirected,” Ratcliffe said. “When it comes to health care, it’s the one area where none of us have any idea what the total cost is or are really keeping track of it, which sort of underscores the point of why … you’ve got runaway cost in health care in this country.”

“What are some of the things we could do to restore some sanity to this issue?” Ratcliffe asked the crowd. He provided some solutions to the problem, including providing universal tax treatment for employer and individual market plans. “Instead of just being recipients of health care … people would be real consumers and cost-conscious,” Ratcliffe said. Block grants to states for Medicaid, portability of health insurance from one job to another, tort reform and increased competition for insurance companies all could be part of the solution for a better health-care system, he said.

“We need to come up with ways to reduce the cost of health care while increasing access to treatment,” Ratcliffe said.