Congressman David Young is a member of a task force in the U.S. House that’s been assembled to come up with a Republican alternative to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“You can’t just be a party of opposition,” Young says. “You have to be proposing solutions and hopefully we can put something out there that also helps solve the problem.”
About 16.5 million Americans have gotten insurance coverage through the government-run health care exchanges. Young, a first term congressman, has joined with the other Republicans in the U.S. House in voting seven times for bills that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. Young says the “mandate” that penalizes those who do not obtain insurance is a problem.
“I don’t necessarily know if I subscribe to that, that the federal government should be making you buy things ’cause if they can make you buy one thing, they can make you buy another,” Young says. “I want to make it very attractive on a person’s own initiative to purchase health care and when people can’t we need to provide that safety net and be able to pool some of the high-risk populations together to try to provide that care for them.”
Republican leaders have said Young and the other task force members need to come up with a “patient-centered” alternative to the Affordable Care Act that increases quality and reduces costs.
“It’s not going to be a top-down, kind of big government approach to it,” Young says. “It’ll be taking into consideration and recognizing the strengths and innovations that states have because New York is not Iowa. Our populations are different and health care delivery is different as well as we want to make sure that we empower consumers with their dollars to make decisions on their own and create transparency, knowing what prices are. When you have transparency out there, you’re going to have some competition and have better health care delivery and products as well.”
The Kaiser Foundation estimates that by 2015 about 38,000 Iowans have gotten health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act and about 20,000 young adults in Iowa are currently covered on their parents’ health plans. The law allows parents to cover their children up to the age of 26.