Feenstra: Protecting people with pre-existing conditions is ‘paramount,’ but Affordable Care Act has to go

Repubilcan Randy Feenstra participated in a debate on WHO-TV Oct. 20. (Screenshot of debate on WHO-TV)

Republican candidate Randy Feenstra said protecting people with pre-existing conditions is “paramount” in future legislation, but “government-mandated” programs like the Affordable Care Act are raising the cost of health care for Iowans.  

Feenstra, who is running for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District seat, said he also supports the current law’s prohibition on benefit caps for health insurance.

But particularly for business owners, Feenstra said he’s hearing from people that premium prices are unsustainable under the Affordable Care Act.

“In Iowa, we need to create competition in health care,” Feenstra said in an interview.

Feenstra said he wants to eliminate third-party billing from health insurance and give consumers more direct control over payments. He said health care costs should be more transparent and patients should be able to shop around and know the cost of a procedure or appointment prior to stepping foot in a doctor’s office.

Patients who pay with cash should also receive reduced health care costs, Feenstra said.

“Government-run health care through Medicare isn’t working,” Feenstra said. “All of a sudden, you have the government making decisions on who gets the new hip. That should never be what health care is about.”

Feenstra’s Democratic opponent, J.D. Scholten, has said he supports universal health care and a plan that would gradually phase it in, according to KAAL-TV.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 10, seven days after the election. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and her expected replacement with Judge Amy Coney Barrett could tilt the court’s balance against the law.

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, Congress currently has no plans in place that would continue to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, one of the most important measures in the act.

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst was one of six Republicans to support a motion that would bar the U.S. Department of Justice from joining the lawsuit. She said she sided with Democrats because she wanted to support people with pre-existing conditions.