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Ives steps forward with health care proposal



EP-701309707WHEATON – In 2018, voters were concerned about health care, and because Republicans hesitated to present a plan to navigate wisely out of Obamacare, they lost the majority – including two important congressional districts in Illinois: the 6th and the 14th.

At least that's what the message was – The GOP lost the majority because health care was ignored. 

So that avoided "health care" issue – uncorrected and getting more complicated nationwide day by day – is at the top of 6th CD Republican primary candidate Jeanne Ives' agenda.

Earlier this week, she presented a detailed plan about how to straighten out the mess – a plan that neither of the GOP primary candidates in the 6th CD has countered as of yet. (And one of those primary candidates that hopes to challenge freshman Democrat Congressman Sean Casten in November 2020 is a doctor… ) 

Ives' plan was laid out in a statement as follows: 

Health care and quality, affordable and portable health insurance is a critical issue to discuss this election cycle – and to act upon in the next Congress, as this Congress is devoting little attention to the matter.

This policy area is at the top of Jeanne Ives’ legislative agenda.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the average total cost of employer-provided health coverage grew to over $20,000 for a family plan this year. Employees’ costs rose at an even faster clip—the average annual amount workers paid toward premiums for family plans grew 8%, to $6,015 this year. The average deductible for single coverage, which employees pay out of their pockets before insurance kicks in, went up as well, to $1,655. 

And annual premiums rose 5% to hit $20,576 for an employer-provided family plan in 2019, according to theyearly poll of employers by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. On average, employers bore 71% of that cost, while employees paid the rest. 

The article goes on to cite the situation of Oak Brook-based Elkay Manufacturing Co. With around 1,500 U.S. employees, the cost of their coverage has been going up around 5% to 6% a year. In 2019, the company introduced its first high-deductible plan, and put in place a new $250 penalty for employees who get imaging scans without checking prices through a price-transparency program. 

Like many of his Democrat-socialist colleagues, Representative Sean Casten (IL-6) has advocated moving to a “Medicare For All” style plan that puts control of the health insurance market and the healthcare system under government control. 

Let’s take a look at how the health insurance market and the healthcare system – not to mention those they are supposed to serve – have fared under greater government control: 

  • Premiumsdoubled in the first four years of Obamacare. From 2013-2017, the average monthly premium for individual insurance was $476 per person per month in the 39 states participating in HealthCare.gov.  But while premiums went up, choices went down.
  • In more than 80 percent of counties across the country, there is only one or two health care plans available on the Obamacare exchange. That means millions of Americans now have far fewer choices when it comes to their doctor and health care network. Less than half of the 24 million people proponents of Obamacare said would sign up have actually done so.
  • Of those who have signed up, more than86 percent, were put on Medicaid. Which, by the way, doesn’t ensure they now have health care because increasing numbers of doctors and other medical providers are no longer accepting Medicaid.  
  • In the United Kingdom, where they’ve had 70 years to figure out how to run a government-controlled health care system, over 80 percent of doctors say their workplaces are understaffed. The result: 50,000 “non-urgent” surgeries were canceled in 2018 when their system was overwhelmed by flu season.

Given the reality of the situation, Jeanne Ives, Republican Candidate for Congress (IL-6), advocates for workable solutions that will expand private options. 

“Republicans in Congress have not been able to ‘Repeal and Replace’ the ACA. For the foreseeable future, it doesn’t appear that such a policy would pass,” said Ives. “But, there are two issues that I would make paramount in all discussions pertaining to health care reform: 

Coverage for preexisting conditions: Contrary to popular belief, 35 states had High Risk health insurance pools in place long before the ACA (Obamacare) was implemented. These safety nets ensured that those with preexisting conditions would be able to purchase health insurance even if they were denied coverage in the Individual health insurance marketplace. Illinois’ High Risk pool is called I.C.H.I.P. and it is still operational. According to Founder of HealthInsuranceMentors.com, C. Steven Tucker, ‘Most states dissolved their High Risk health insurance pools once the ACA was implemented. Ten additional states had Guarantee Issue individual mandates – again, long before the ACA – that similarly provided for pre-existing conditions. For example, Ohio had an annual open enrollment period during which all Ohio residents could purchase Individual health insurance which guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions. We did not need the ACA to solve that problem. Andforty-five states had a risk mitigation system in place that ensured coverage or pre-existing conditions long before Obamacare. And they were serving people better than they are now being served. We should take pre-existing coverage out of the hands of the federal government and return it to the states.’

1332 Waivers: Today, 1332 waivers allow states to recreate their own innovative solutions to ensure coverage for preexisting conditions whilst also significantly lowering premiums. This is a bipartisan solution already being utilized by states likeMaine, Alaska, Wyoming and Wisconsin because it works. In fact,Alaska reduced health insurance premiums by 34% whilst also ensuring protections for preexisting conditions by using a 1332 waiver. The results have been so positive that35 states are now considering legislation to initiate the 1332 waiver application process.” 

Ives continued, “Increased government-control has been disastrous: reduced options, diminished care at crushing cost. But for Sean Casten, the solution is more government – go further down that road to socialized healthcare. By contrast, I want more options for families, not less. I want affordable plans for employers, not options that force them out of business. Let’s give block grant funds to states so they can re-establish high risk pools which premiums for everyone, incentivize HSAs, force price transparency.  

“And that is the choice in this election: do you think more government or more freedom is the best solution to your problems? On the issue of healthcare, the choice is clear.”  

The other two Republicans vying for the 6th CD nomination are former Lt Gov Evelyn Sanguinetti and Dr. Jay Kinzler. 


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  1. Thank you Jeanne Ives!
    It was terrific to see 6th district candidate Jeanne Ives publish a policy/position paper on healthcare this past Monday and have it published here on IR. Her position paper is a very good, thoroughly researched informative publication.
    It must be recognized position papers are dynamic, working documents which campaigns will need to refine after initial publication. As the candidate talks to voters, hears informed feedback and adapts their position based on voter input, multiple versions will likely be needed. Additionally, since Ives and the other Republican candidates in the 6th and 14th hope to be in a general election against an incumbent freshman Democrat, the incumbent might have a key vote which should be updated and documented in the candidate’s policy position.
    Feedback I hear concerning voters’ sentiments on the candidates is voters want to make informed choices, with discernment, on the issues.
    Voters want to know, beyond the sound bites, bromides, abstracts and talking points, how a candidate will represent them in Congress if they’re elected and some specifics, including votes in Congress where the candidate would be different than the Democratic incumbent. This is important for primary voters who will have electability at the top of their candidate qualifications.
    Let’s encourage all of the Republican candidates in the 6th and 14th to get their positions on the major issues in writing by the end of the year. And give the candidates feedback on their policy positions, and where you, the voter, thinks the candidate should include or reconsider.
    Obviously, outside of a focus group, candidates cannot go into a lot of detail while speaking or in media advertising.
    It’s early October, let’s not go easy on ANY of the candidates. The nomination must be earned, and the candidates refined by fire, because nothing they’ll experience in the primary will compare to the onslaught in the general.

  2. So Ives’ “plan” is to maintain pre-existing coverage protections (i.e, the status quo), and use 1332 waivers (that already exist, and have to be requested by state governments, not the Congress that she’s running for) to accomplish [???]. Looks pretty weak.

  3. The solution to healthcare is simple: get government out of healthcare, tort reform and allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. We never had a healthcare problem until government got involved.