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 a sixth 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 -
but was never allowed a hearing when the House was under Democratic control.
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.
With Republicans in charge in Washington and Frankfort, we are finally getting
relief from Obamacare. But, there is more work to be done on this critical issue.
We must again encourage qualified insures to accept Kentucky customers. Competition
is as beneficial in medical insurance as it is in any other business. Healthcare
recipients - you and me - should become an integral part of controlling the quality
and cost of our own medical care. That also means that recipients of government assistance
should be required to work or seek work in return for their coverage. While some
are truly incapable, many are losing the motivation to work and the dignity that
comes with earning for themselves.
Finally, 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.