Government meddling in the healthcare industry 20 years ago led to decreased
insurance options and increased costs for Kentucky families. HB 250 convinced 18
insurance companies to stop offering coverage in Kentucky. Continual government meddling
has resulted in double-digit annual inflation in healthcare costs ever since. Additionally,
small businesses have found it increasingly difficult to offer insurance to their
employees due to runaway premium costs.
The recent healthcare mandates that are flowing out of Washington in the form
of Obamacare threaten to make this situation even worse. The Obama administration’s
attempt to take over 1/6th of the national economy that is related to healthcare
will undermine Kentuckians’ their ability to choose their own healthcare plan and
doctor—and significantly increase costs. And, as we’ve already seen, although tens
of thousands have been added to the Medicaid roles, hundreds of thousands have already
lost or will lose their preferred plan.
In 2010, I sponsored HB 307 to protect Kentuckians’ right to choose their own
healthcare. That bill would have required the Attorney General to defend — individually
or collectively — any Kentuckians penalized, fined, or prosecuted for exercising
their right to reject Obamacare. I introduced it again
in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Thus far, the House Democratic
leadership has refused to consider these bills.
In addition to opposing Obamacare in the Kentucky
Legislature, I led the effort to submit an Amicus Brief (“friend
of the court”) before the United States Supreme Court when
they considered the Constitutionality of Obamacare. Working
with lawyers at the national level who would be presenting the
case at the Supreme Court, I personally drafted a brief
opposing Obamacare, then led the effort to encourage the
support of legislators from Kentucky and other states. In the
end, every Republican in the Kentucky Senate, all but 3 in the Kentucky House, and
Republicans, Independents, and Democrats from 14 other states joined in this formal
filing. Although we did not prevail, that effort helped motivate legislators in Kentucky
and across the nation to unite in opposition to this devastating law.
I strongly believe that the legislature should revisit this critical issue. We
must again encourage qualified insurers to accept Kentucky customers. Competition
is as beneficial in medical insurance as it is in any other business. When the legislature
finally acts, legislation should be pursued that would bring an end to medical costs
that threaten to spiral out of control. Healthcare recipients—you and me—should become
an integral part of controlling the quality and cost of our own medical care.
And we must protect the rights of Kentuckians against government overreach—in
healthcare and every other sector of our society.
Additionally, Kentucky must get ahead of the trend to drive doctors away due
to exorbitant liability costs. Too many trial lawyers have treated malpractice suits
like a medical lottery system, hoping to get rich at the expense of good doctors
merely doing their job. Kentucky’s doctors deserve the respect and protection of
our legal system. More importantly, Kentucky families must never find themselves
lawyer-rich and doctor-poor.