Nan Hayworth explains for The Hill how the Affordable Care Act thwarts efforts to improve health care in the United States.

As a physician whose career in medicine was dedicated to preserving and improving my patients’ health, I know firsthand how important it is for everyone to have access to care. This is a fundamental precept, morally and pragmatically sound, that should be honored by all who seek to transform for the better America’s flawed system of health care delivery.

Regrettably, since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had the net general effect of raising the cost of health insurance while reducing the quality and variety of the services that insurance covers. This is the opposite of what was intended — but the suffering engendered thereby is real and painful.

The best-case remedy would be to repeal the ACA completely and replace it with a much simpler, more targeted set of common-sense interventions to empower consumers and ensure their access to insurance that is affordable, portable, and tailored to their needs. …

… The best way to help people with pre-existing conditions is to:

  • Eliminate the requirements in the ACA that force millions of Americans to pay far more than they need to for their health insurance;
  • Allow us instead to pay far less for insurance policies that actually meet our needs and budgets; and
  • Allow states to fund, typically through a small surcharge on regular health insurance policies or tax revenues, “high-risk” pools dedicated to the special needs of our fellow citizens with pre-existing conditions and other challenges that make their care more costly than can readily be accommodated in the more routine marketplace.

This solution has been proven to work in most states pre-ACA, and with a bit of federal help it can work in every state — which is what the ACA was meant to accomplish in the first place, but massively and unsustainably failed to do.