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Guest Column: Why I opposed the American Health Care Act

Last week, the news was dominated by the debate about the American Health Care Act. There was a lot of misinformation surrounding this legislation that claimed to “repeal and replace Obamacare,” and I want to take a moment to cut through the noise and give you my perspective ...

Since Obamacare was first enacted unilaterally by the Democrats, millions of Americans across the country lost their doctors, lost their insurance plans and have paid dramatically more for premiums and deductibles.

Arizona has been one of the worst hit states inflicted by Obamacare’s failures with premiums increasing by 24 percent. In several counties, only one insurance company remains. That is not choice. That is the beginning of a death spiral.

Americans learned after the fact that the key promises in Obamacare were lies, and its chief architect, Jonathan Gruber, admitted that ‘lack of transparency’ and the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ helped Congress approve the bill.

Obamacare must be repealed ... not modified.

Government-mandated healthcare has proven to be a complete failure. After countless broken promises and skyrocketing premiums, it’s obvious that patient-centered, free-market reforms are the only way to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Historic Republican wins in elections in 2010, 2014 and 2016 have given Republicans a clear mandate to throw this bad law out. Virtually every elected Republican promised to repeal this disaster.

The American Health Care Act FAILED to accomplish this clear goal.

This bill still left in place too many of the big-government Obamacare mandates and regulations that are responsible for the rising cost of premiums and limited competition. Trying to build on top of Obamacare’s broken foundation, instead of starting over, is a recipe for disaster.

The bill created a new advanceable, refundable tax credit, thereby creating a new entitlement. Why are we accepting the false premise that people are either entitled to a health care subsidy from their employer or the federal government? What happened to the free market?

Rather than accepting the narrative that this bill was the best we were going to get, I joined my colleagues in the Freedom Caucus and banded together to call a TIMEOUT on the American Health Care Act.

You deserve better than this legislation and I will not break my promise that I made to deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

Now is the time to start from square one in building collaborative healthcare solutions that focus on putting patient choice first, allowing free market competition and fixing the inefficiencies in our current system.

... BUT THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS:

Last Wednesday, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House joined me in taking a historic step to begin rebuilding America’s healthcare market.

As a dentist for over 25 years, I know first-hand that restoring the application of federal antitrust laws to the business of health insurance is the key to unlocking greater competition in the marketplace.

Making health insurance companies compete in a free-market will result in huge benefits for hospitals, doctors and most importantly, patients.

History has always shown us that when we put the patient first and demand that health insurance companies compete for their business, premiums go down while quality goes up.

I’m proud to have led this effort in the House and call on Senate leaders to take up this bipartisan legislation in a timely matter.

Attention all high school students in Arizona’s fourth Congressional district.

The Congressional Art Competition is on and I want to see your best work.

This is your chance to have your very own artwork featured in the U.S. Capitol Building.

Follow this link to find more information about how to submit your work as well as other important rules for the competition: gosar.house.gov/serving-you/art-competition

As always, you can follow everything I am working on in Arizona and Washington, D.C. through my website (http://gosar.house.gov) on Twitter @RepGosar, through Facebook at Rep. Paul Gosar or on Instagram at RepGosar.