WASHINGTON, DC — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) today joined House Speaker Paul Ryan and the chairs of the House Republican Task Force on Health Care to unveil the fifth plank of the Better Way agenda, the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

The plan—available now at better.gop—offers a better way to fix health care, including:

Click the image above to watch Scalise’s remarks


“Well thank you Paul. There is nothing like bold conservative ideas to fill a room, and we’re bringing you one today. There is a better way to deliver healthcare in America, and I think most people recognize now that Obamacare just doesn’t work for families. I think one of the most well-told misdeeds in American politics was that statement by Barack Obama that if you like what you have, you can keep it. How many times did we hear that? It was one of his main tools to sell Obamacare. Of course today when you fast forward, over 5 million Americans have lost healthcare that they had and liked because Obamacare’s mandates, taxes—all of the unworkable components of that law—have crushed the dreams of so many people, have taken away the good healthcare of so many people, and have jacked up the cost of healthcare for so many people.

“In my state of Louisiana alone, next year families are facing a 30% increase in their healthcare premiums. A 30% increase, because of the unworkable mandates in Obamacare. The good news is that there is a better way, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today. When you look at the components of this plan, the whole idea is to flip Obamacare around on its head. The whole idea of Obamacare was to put government in charge of these decisions, and what we’re saying is, “Let’s restore the patient-doctor relationship that is so vitally important to healthcare”. We do this in a number of ways. Obviously you have to start with a repeal of Obamacare but for so long, our members, our chairman that you’re going to be hearing from today, have made it clear that it’s not enough to be against Obamacare. It’s a critically important first step to repeal Obamacare, but then you have to follow it up with a true replacement, a plan that puts patients and doctors back in charge of those medical decisions and takes unelected bureaucrats in Washington out of that mix.

“When you look at the power of some of these ideas, which people have been hungering for for years, ideas like letting people buy insurance across state lines like they buy every other product. People know how to shop online really well. I know when I was working with Dr. Roe when we decided that the Republican Study Committee, when I was chairman three years ago, was going to come up with a full alternative. We started with the idea of doing just that, putting patients back in charge. Phil Roe used to say, “You know people will cross four lanes of interstate traffic to go buy gas three cents a gallon cheaper. They know how to shop well, and yet they’re not able to do that for healthcare.” Why not empower people to make those kinds of decisions on their own and remove these barriers that make it hard to have competitive pricing. Not only will you know what the prices are, but you can actually go get the best deal for your family without some elitist bureaucrat in Washington telling you you can’t have what you know is best for you and your family.

“Of course we do common-sense medical liability reform. Every month millions of people have to go and get tests run, not because it’s in the best interest of their health, but because their doctors are afraid of frivolous lawsuits. Not only does this take so much time away from people, it adds millions and billions of dollars to the cost of healthcare. So we finally confront those challenges, again, by putting patients back in charge. The power of those ideas to lower costs, increase the quality, and then just let people know that that they’re going to be able to make their decisions without worrying about a pre-existing condition being used to discriminate against you, we address that.

“We go further and say that those safety nets like Medicare, which is headed for bankruptcy right now, we actually reverse that. We strengthen Medicare and protect it not only for current seniors but for future generations. There is a better way, I’m proud to be a part of this rollout, I’m really proud of the work that our whole conference has done. Our chairmen are going to be the embodiments of those details. But this is something that our Republican majority has embraced: the idea that we’re not just against Obamacare, but we want to show the American people that there is a better way to put them back in charge of their healthcare decisions and focus on improving quality and lowering costs. I appreciate Arthur Brooks and the American Enterprise Institute for what they’re doing to help us to present this idea to the American people. Let’s go and show what a better way really looks like. Thank you.”