Rep. Ritze asks help from Trump

Rep. Mike Ritze, chair of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Public Health Committee, has called on President-elect Donald Trump to use the power of executive order to alleviate people from the Affordable Care Act.

“People are hurting because of this law,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “There are things that the president elect can do on day one to help rescue people from this legislation, and for the sake of Oklahomans and their healthcare, we should all be imploring him to do so.”

Trump’s inauguration is Friday.

One of the easiest ways for the president-elect to undermine the current healthcare law is to adopt a policy to stop enforcing penalties for not signing up for insurance, Ritze said. The individual mandate is important to ACA because it forces healthy people to purchase insurance and share the burden of everyone’s healthcare costs.

“We live in a country that values freedom,” Ritze said. “Yet, we have this healthcare law that provides no freedom to the individual and demands that he or she buy something or pay the government money.”

Outside of halting enforcement of the individual mandate, President-elect Trump, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, also has the ability to determine what would be considered acceptable coverage. For example, Trump could choose to eliminate the mandate for contraceptive coverage. “It’s my preference and the preference of many Oklahomans that the government stays out of the healthcare business,” Ritze said. “But if we are going to continue down this road, we need to be perfectly clear as to what our tax dollars are buying.”