When Republicans vote next week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they are voting to repeal a new level of control that American families have over their health-care decisions.
They are also voting to make American businesses less competitive in the global economy.
Because just 10 months after its passage, the act has brought badly needed change to the American health-care system. The law:
- Prevents children with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage;
- Eliminates lifetime caps on the dollar amount insurance companies will spend on enrollees' benefits, like cancer treatment;
- Allows children to stay on their parents' insurance plans until they are 26;
- Gives tax credits to small businesses to help them afford health care for their employees; and
- Takes meaningful steps to lower costs and improve the quality of health care for all Americans
But from my perspective as U.S. Commerce secretary, one of the most important benefits of the law is that it will make American businesses more competitive by reining in rapidly increasing health-care costs.
As President Obama has noted: "We are in a fierce competition among nations for the jobs and industries of the future."
The Affordable Care Act will allow American businesses, large and small, to improve their performance against foreign competitors, most of whom have significantly lower health-care costs.
The cost savings are real, and they will grow over time.