Position on Healthcare Reform in 2017
Awaiting the conﬁrmation of Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services, followed by the
inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, Virginians for Quality Healthcare (VQH)
urges Congress to completely repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka
Obamacare), as soon as possible. Congress should pass the popular, bicameral bill, “Empowering Patients First
Act of 2015” (H.R. 2300/S.B. 2519) which repeals the PPACA and puts into place reforms that return medical
decision-making to patients, families and their doctors. President Trump should make this bill the ﬁrst one he signs
into law, as that action will have a powerful, unifying effect on all Americans who have been greatly harmed by
Obamacare mandates and ever-rising healthcare costs.
VQH opposes partial repeal because Obamacare is a ﬂawed, complex, intertwined law that has proven very
difﬁcult to “ﬁx.” That law has been amended at least 70 times in six years, often by unilateral executive action.
Despite those amendments, Obamacare remains a disastrous, unpopular and unaffordable transformation of
healthcare in the U.S. Moreover, partial repeal prolongs government interference in the doctor-patient relationship
and also creates uncertainty among insurers who have to decide months in advance whether to participate in
PPACA healthcare exchanges. A protracted debate over what features to keep and what to change will not serve
the American people, and could even result in nothing being changed. The time for debating alternatives to
Obamacare is over. It is time for Congress to act, thereby demonstrating to the voting public that their voices
have been heard and their opposition to Obamacare has been duly noted.
VQH remains ﬁrmly opposed to the government’s usurpation of individuals’ healthcare freedom and its
expropriation of states’ 10th Amendment rights — both resulting from Obamacare. The free market should be
unleashed by policies that revive competition among health plans and make healthcare truly patient-centered and
affordable. Let market forces determine which insurance companies succeed or fail; Obamacare “risk-corridors”
should not receive another dime from the U.S. Treasury. VQH further advocates alternative pay models for
healthcare, such as direct primary care, cash-only agreements, and healthcare sharing ministries; these
arrangements drive down the costs of healthcare by reducing administrative costs and the role of insurance
companies in routine medical processes.
Until Obamacare is fully repealed, VQH will actively engage lawmakers in Richmond to thwart any last-ditch
attempt to expand Medicaid, and focus instead on healthcare reforms. VQH will promote repealing
Obamacare mandates that would remain in effect in Virginia unless the General Assembly rescinds them also.
Health insurers should be allowed to offer plans with a range of beneﬁts, not force people to pay for gold-plated
beneﬁts they don’t need. To improve patient choice and lower healthcare costs, VQH will support bills to reform
Certiﬁcate of Public Need laws; those laws stiﬂe competition, keep hospital and medical costs high, and are not
relevant in the 21st Century. VQH is also dedicated to efforts that will codify Direct Primary Care in Virginia, and
will encourage more doctors to convert their practices from fee-for-service to a direct pay model. VQH will
endeavor to add more doctors and healthcare professionals to its membership network.
The vision of restoring healthcare freedom to Americans can become a reality in 2017