President Obama compared his failing health care law to a starter home that needs improvements. A few more major renovations and it should be good to go, or so he believes. The President even offered solutions to addressing the law’s most troubling areas, including combating skyrocketing premiums and the fact that young people still have not signed up for it. But no matter how many repairs the President proposes, you cannot salvage a house with a faulty foundation. Instead of applying patches on the failing law, it’s time to start over and build again.
As a family practice physician with a health care clinic in Louisiana, quality medicine and personal care has been at the forefront of my career. In fact, my desire to reform the American health system played a key role in my decision to run for Congress in 2008.
Obamacare changed health care as we knew it, but ultimately continues to fail Louisianians and Americans across this nation.
Following the initial passage of the law, twenty-three Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) were established as an alternative to the public health care option, and intended to stimulate the private health insurance market. Since then all but six plans have collapsed because of financial losses, leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans without insurance. Worse yet, the individual mandate – taxing people who don’t get insurance – remains in place, even for those who bought insurance through a CO-OP.
Last month the House passed H.R. 954, the CO-OP Consumer Protection Act, to exempt people who received health insurance through a CO-OP from the individual mandate and its taxes. I voted in favor of H.R. 954, and continue to be a strong advocate for the full repeal of Obamacare.
We all know it’s not working, the real question is, “What’s next?”
From my perspective, we need a common-sense system that makes health care affordable, allows patients to maintain control of their own medical choices, and supports the conscience rights of medical professionals, insurance companies, hospitals and clinics.
First, we can make insurance premiums more affordable for everyone by allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and encouraging young healthy individuals to purchase health insurance by actually allowing them to purchase affordable plans that meet their limited needs.
Next, it needs to put patients back in charge of their own care, instead of the government trying to make those decisions for us. One way is to expand health savings accounts or HSAs which empower people to set aside resources for expected and unexpected health needs.
That’s why I introduced H.R. 3006, the HSA Health Care Choices Act, to encourage Americans to plan and save for health care costs. Health savings accounts are a key aspect of patient-centered and market-based care.
Specifically, my legislation would increase the maximum contribution limit and allow an HSA to be used to purchase health insurance premiums, over the counter medications, and pre-paid physician fees. It also permits HSAs to be passed on to future generations as a tax-exempt account, and allows a beneficiary to pay for another’s medical expenses using an HSA. I’m proud of this legislation and hope to see it up for a vote soon.
As a business owner I also see how HSA’s could save on health care costs by encouraging individual patients to invest as consumers, which is the second need of any common-sense health care bill: affordability and choice. We want to bring consumer choice back into health care, and we want this to be a patient-centered plan where health care providers compete on price and quality so consumers can make the best choice.
And lastly, for our next health care system to truly work for everyone, it must include conscience protections for medical professionals. The House recently passed legislation that I’ve been working on since 2011, the Conscience Protection Act, to ensure no one is forced to participate in abortion in any way, and for any reason.
I worked as a part of the Republican Study Committee Health Task Force to introduce a bill, the American Health Care Reform Act, that includes many of the same critical factors I’ve outlined above. It also won’t create any new taxes or mandates, and instead will encourage competitive markets to personalize and lower the cost of insurance coverage. It also supports free market innovation and research to find cures for today’s most prevalent diseases.
The time has come to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common-sense health care that gives all Americans quality care they can afford. They certainly can’t afford any more patches on the failing system we have now.
This article originally appeared here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to the letter by FBI Director James Comey to Congressional Committee Chairmen about the FBI re-opening their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, Congressman Fleming made the following statement:
“This is an opportunity for the FBI to correct their incomprehensible actions in letting Hillary Clinton evade the very law that they’ve used to throw the book at members of our military. I’m glad that the FBI is re-opening the investigation. I hope that they will look at the totality of the evidence and decide there is a ‘reasonable’ case for prosecution.”
The current iteration of the culture wars has moved from distrust harbored towards faith communities to direct attacks on them.
As a long-time family practice physician, I have deep respect for the Hippocratic Oath I made to ethically practice medicine. As a man of faith, I believe that medical providers are tasked with protecting life, promoting health, and ensuring patient care. This is inclusive care: the young, the old, the unborn, the sick, the dying—providing care from conception to natural death.
Not all share my view, but that doesn’t negate my ability to practice conscientious medicine, or to decline participation in unacceptable practices or outright harmful procedures like abortion.
Thorough training, professional experiences, and moral perspective guide these decisions. Being free to live out one’s faith, however, has angered many who disagree, and has tipped the scales against practitioners in several states. We have documented stories of a nurse being forced to piece together a dismembered baby following an abortion, and medical facilities threatening to fire nurses who reject assisting with an abortion. States like California and New York are imposing financial burdens on churches to cover abortion under the umbrella of health insurance.
It is important to pause for a moment to remember that this discussion is not limited to religious freedom. Faith, deeply held beliefs, moral convictions, and sound reasoning comprise an individual’s conscience rights.
As recently as July, the House of Representatives passed legislation I’ve been working on for many years, the Conscience Protection Act. Congress unequivocally spoke in favor of these collective rights, ensuring that no one is forced to participate in abortion in anyway, for any reason. This includes hospitals, insurance providers, health care plans, pharmacists, doctors and nurses. Doctors should never be forced to end human life, and nurses shouldn’t be threatened with the loss of a job for practicing sound medicine.
But, earlier in October, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law in California that forces crisis pregnancy centers to distribute and promote information on where and how to obtain a state-funded abortion, essentially forcing pro-life clinics to advertise for abortion in their own centers! More intimidation.
This same court had also ruled against Washington State pharmacists for exercising their First Amendment rights in referring patients to local competitors instead of providing abortion inducing drugs.
The impingement on religious freedom and conscience rights have shifted the sentiment of distrust to outright assault on communities that think, act, and believe differently from the government’s newly established ‘values.’
It used to be that the First Amendment promoted and guarded differences through dialog. The Left today, however, doesn’t want to win the argument with persuasion but rather with intimidation and personal assaults on freedom.
From church pastors and religious leaders to family practice physicians, specialists, and nurses, we need affirm religious freedoms and conscience protections. Now, perhaps more than ever before, we need to defend the First Amendment protections before a radicalized culture and the government power it now wields, takes away that right altogether. As James Madison reminds us, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”
This article originally appeared on The Hayride HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fleming released the following statement after the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) awarded him an “A” in their 2015 Congressional rating for supporting responsible tax and spending policies, limited government and economic freedom.
“I was honored to not only receive the Taxpayers’ Friend Award, but also to receive the only 'A' in the House Louisiana delegation. With so many businesses and families struggling, doing my part to relieve them of high taxes and helping create an economy where everyone wins will remain a top priority.”
Pete Sepp, President of NTU commented, “Winning the Taxpayers’ Friend Award is no easy feat. It takes a daily commitment to cast principled votes that put the Americans who pay government’s bills first. Rep. Fleming has proven he has what it takes to help make Washington work for taxpayers again.”
“Rep. Fleming’s pro- taxpayer ‘A’ score was one of the best on all of Capitol Hill. Through his consistent voting record, Congressman Fleming showed his colleagues the way to lower deficits, less burdensome taxes, and a stronger economy. If every Member of Congress had voted as conscientiously as he did last year, taxpayers could have looked forward to a much more prosperous future,” Sepp concluded.
NTU has recognized Representatives and Senators since 1979 who annually earn high voting scores to qualify them for the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.” Only two Members of the Louisiana delegation, Rep. Fleming and Senator Vitter, received an ‘A’ score. The 2015 NTU scorecard can be viewed here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fleming released the following statement after the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld California’s “Reproductive FACT Act” forcing pro-life pregnancy resource centers in California to advertise abortions in their clinics.
“More and more we are seeing First Amendment rights absolutely stomped on within the courts. This recent federal court decision to uphold a California law forces dedicated centers of life to contradict their very existence and actively promote abortions. This is a blatant violation of core constitutional principles. It is sickening that California would enact a law designed to specifically target clinics that care for the welfare of both mother and baby, and it is beyond the pale that the federal court would evade the First Amendment to make these pro-life clinics the mouthpieces for Planned Parenthood.
“Now more than ever our country is in need of legislation I’ve been working on since 2011, the Conscience Protection Act, to ensure no one is forced to participate in an abortion in anyway and for any reason – including offering information on where to get one done. The House passed my bill in July; it’s time we put the Conscience Protection Act on the President’s desk.”Read More
We’ve heard it called “the craziest thing in the world.” That’s not a compliment, that’s a straight-up, honest opinion on Obamacare freely uttered by former Democrat President Bill Clinton. Obamacare, once heralded as our nation’s signature health care law, has rapidly self-destructed and left many Americans worse off than before.
As a family practice physician with a health care clinic in Minden, the delivery of quality medicine and timely care has been at the forefront of my career. In fact, reforming the American health system was a key factor in running for Congress in 2008. Patients deserve care; families deserve choice; and the government should respect our moral conscience, the very fiber of our existence.
Obamacare respected none of these core elements, and six and half years into the so-called Affordable Care Act, even the most loyal of supporters are beginning to acknowledge the warning signs.
It’s time to start over.
The ACA in its entirety has to go. Although we’ve been down this path before, even placing a repeal bill on the President’s desk, the very first action must be to pull up Obamacare by its roots. A successive secondary step will be to replace Obamacare with patient-centric, free-market principled guidelines that support the role of medical professionals, insurance companies, hospitals, and clinics.
Any health care overhaul will need the following components to truly work for all Americans.
First, it needs to put patients back in charge of their own care.
Throughout the health care debate over the past several years, I’ve fought against expanding the federal government’s control over people’s health care decisions. The best health care plan is the one that puts patients in charge of their own health by letting them make their own decisions about what they want and how they are going to pay for it.
I also introduced H.R. 3006, the HSA Health Care Choices Act to encourage Americans to plan and save for health care costs. Health savings accounts are a key aspect of patient-centered and market-based care.
Specifically, my legislation would increase the maximum contribution limit and allows an HSA to be used to purchase health insurance premiums, over the counter medications, and pre-paid physician fees. It also permits HSAs to be passed on to future generations as a tax-exempt account, and allows a beneficiary to pay for another’s medical expenses using an HSA. The HSA Health Care Choices Act also repeals several Obamacare provisions hampering tax-advantaged health accounts. I’m proud of this legislation and hope to see it up for a vote soon.
As a business owner I see how HSA’s could save on health care costs by encouraging individual patients to invest as consumers, which is the second need of any common-sense health care bill: affordability and choice. We want to bring consumer choice back into health care, and we want this to be a patient-centered plan where health care providers compete on price and quality and consumers can make valuable choices. In turn, this will bring health care costs down.
Additionally, we can make insurance premiums more affordable for everyone by allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and encouraging – but not requiring – young healthy individuals to purchase health insurance.
This choice extends to Medicare programs such as Medicare Advantage. Seniors should be able to choose the benefits packages that best suit their needs too.
And lastly, for our next health care system to truly work for everyone, it must include conscience protections so that no one is forced to pay for abortions. Abortion takes innocent life, and those who believe it is morally wrong should not be coerced into supporting it by their government. This is also why the Senate needs to pass H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion law to ensure federal dollars are never being used to pay for abortions.
I worked as a part of the Republican Study Committee Health Task Force to introduce a bill, the American Health Care Reform Act, that includes many of the same critical factors I’ve outlined above. It will create no new taxes or mandates, instead encouraging competitive markets to personalize and lower the cost of insurance coverage. It also encourages free market innovation and research to find cures to today’s more prevalent diseases.
The time has come to repeal Obamacare and replace it with common-sense health care that gives all Americans quality care they can afford.
This article originally appeared in the Minden Press Herald HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fleming released the following statement following the recent explosion at Camp Minden.
“I encourage concerned citizens to attend the latest public town hall meeting on October 13, 2016 hosted by the Louisiana National Guard to get more information regarding the progress and planned activities at Camp Minden. The recent explosion at Camp Minden will be discussed by the National Guard, and their plans for some immediate actions that will be taken later this month. My office staff will be at these meetings and I suggest residents in the area attend to learn what has taken place thus far and what the Guard will be doing next.”
Event: Town Hall, Camp Minden Update
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Camp Minden, Building # A120, Louisiana Blvd., Minden, La., 71055Read More
Shimon Peres was laid to rest in Jerusalem recently as dozens of world leaders, international dignitaries, and national figures, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, paid respect to the former Israeli Prime Minister and life-long statesman. Modern day Israel has lost a founding father, a defender of Israel’s homeland, and a moderator of peace. Yet, Israel remains a steadfast oasis of democracy in a politically charged and volatile region.
The historic bond between our two nations is indispensable, and our united goals should be indistinguishable. A strong Israel is reflective of a strong America.
On a recent trip to New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded our outgoing President that the enemy of Israel is the collective enemy of every nation. Terrorism is knocking at everyone’s front door. Ironically, Israel’s near neighbor, Iran, happens to be an exporter of terrorism, and is refinancing thanks to the generous gifts of the Obama Administration. Flush with ransom dollars, the dictatorial ayatollahs seem intent on finalizing their nuclear program which the JCPOA failed to halt, and taking the first pass at Israel. Let’s not forget that this is the same country that etched the words ‘Israel must be wiped out’ on its ballistic missiles before test-firing the weaponry.
The not-so-hidden agenda of Israel’s enemies should be front and center in U.S. foreign policy, and reflected in America’s support for Israel’s self-determination and national security.
In the middle of September, the U.S. and Israeli governments signed a second 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) securing America’s pledge of support for military assistance and multi-year sustained financing. This MOU followed closely on the heels of congressionally passed legislation urging an expedited agreement. In typical fashion, the Obama Administration negotiators squeezed our ally a little too hard on this one, asking Israel to refrain from petitioning Congress for resources beyond those outlined in the MOU. Despite this shortcoming, the MOU serves a crucial role in assuring the people of Israel of the United States’ uncompromising support.
The intertwined union of the Israeli-American camaraderie has deep roots in the past and is linked to the future success of each nation. Future American Presidents and elected officials would be wise to remember that.
Israel’s ability to birth genius has provided generations of intellectuals, extraordinary advances in science and medicine, and brilliance in accelerating the technological landscape. The modernly young start-up nation pulsates venture capitalism, bolstering the U.S. economy. Our two countries have also closely collaborated on leading medical emergency response trainings to skillfully mend and rehabilitate terror victims. This training was critical for the Boston Bombing victims. From blooming deserts to militarily defensive shields, the Israeli accomplishments provide creative and innovative responses to natural and man-made catastrophes. The universe of Israeli success is inevitably shared, financed, and partnered with U.S. cooperatives, entrepreneurs, and the U.S. Military.
Israel brings unparalleled stability to the Middle East. As our friend and ally, I for one intend to work alongside my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the United States stands strong in its support of Israel, its security and its future.
To read the original article, click here.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Hyde amendment, long-standing federal policy that prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
“The forethought of Rep. Henry Hyde’s amendment has been instrumental in saving the lives of approximately 2 million innocent children. First enacted on September 30, 1976, babies given the chance at life under this critical federal policy are now mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons. Once thought inconvenient, 40 years later these men and women are the voice of generations of Americans.
“A majority of Americans agree that the government should not be funding abortions, a procedure that destroys developing human life—lives full of potential. This is why I support sending the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion bill to the President’s desk, enshrining the life-affirming Hyde amendment into permanent law.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman John Fleming, M.D. released the following statement in response to the passing of Shimon Peres, the former President and Prime Minister of Israel.
“It was with great sadness that I learned Shimon Peres passed away this week. During his nearly 60 years in public service, Mr. Peres held almost every position in Israel from Prime Minister to President. He was one of Israel’s founding fathers, and well respected across the globe. So respected that he even won the Novel Peace Prize in 1994 for his peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. While we mourn his loss we will also remain grateful for the lasting contributions he made to Israel and the Middle East.”Read More
416 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
John Fleming grew up in a working class family in Mississippi. After his father suddenly died, John, as a teenager, took on added responsibility for his disabled mother and his younger siblings. He worked his way through college and attended medical school on a Navy scholarship. John served six years in the Navy as a Medical Officer
After his time in the U.S. Navy, John and his wife of 34 years, Cindy, settled in Minden, Louisiana. With a young family and no money in the bank, he started a medical practice that continues to serve the community today. He also began to build from scratch a group of non-medical small businesses that today provide hundreds of jobs in the region.
John was first elected to Congress in 2008, to represent Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District. The district covers most of western Louisiana, stretching from Caddo and Bossier parishes east to Union, and south to Beauregard, and then east again to include parts of St. Landry parish. The district has abundant assets, including the agriculture, defense, and energy industries.
Fleming serves on two House committees – Armed Services – from which he focuses on the missions of Barksdale Air Force Base and Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center, and Natural Resources – from which he seeks to support the maximization of the Haynesville and Tuscaloosa Marine Shales, two sources of energy which have created tens of thousands of jobs for 4th District families.
John is focused on preserving the same freedoms that gave him the opportunity, as a young man from a working class family, to work for the American dream. He believes that the people he represents are best served when they are able to create their own success in an environment that embraces individual liberty and is not hampered by high taxes or unnecessary regulations. When government is efficient and accountable, the economy can grow and good jobs will be created.
Dr. Fleming was the Louisiana Family Doctor of the Year in 2007. He has worked in Congress for sensible health care reforms, and authored legislation urging all Members of Congress to participate in the same health care system that they create for the American people. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus, a group that includes 14 physicians who work to develop patient-centered health care reforms. Dr. Fleming has also championed conscience protections for medical personnel who choose to not participate in abortion practices.
John Fleming’s primary goals are to uphold the U.S. Constitution and to be a servant leader to the people he represents. He’s been named a “Defender of Liberty” by the American Conservative Union, a “Congressional Sentinel” by Heritage Action for America, and a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Business.
Retweeted by repfleming
Retweeted by repfleming
Retweeted by repfleming
My response to court decision to gut First Amendment rights: https://t.co/cG6u1wmzEs
Retweeted by repfleming
Retweeted by repfleming
It was great to meet with a group of students in DC from Glenbrook School in Minden this week as they're here participating in Close-up's Capitol
Can religious liberty survive the current culture wars? My latest op-ed in the Hayride:
Gruber, one of the admitted lying architects of ObamaCare, now says that it is working as designed. As a true socialist, his solution to your
The ObamaCare death spiral continues... http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_PREMIUMS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-10-24-17-03-27
I was honored to not only receive the Taxpayers’ Friend Award, but also to receive the only 'A' in the House Louisiana delegation. With so