If there is one message I have received loud and clear during my town hall meetings this year it has been this: our health care system needs reform. However, most people have argued the answer is not a federal government-run health care system in this country. Instead, they tell me their biggest concerns are cost and access. While our health care system is not perfect, they argue, it is still one of the best in the world. As the old saying goes, you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

So if dramatically increasing taxes and federal spending will not solve this problem what is the answer?

A Solution for the Uninsured. There are approximately 47 million Americans without health insurance coverage in this country. When they become ill, they go to an emergency room where treatment and tests are dramatically more expensive, driving up the cost of health care. We must address this problem. One option might be to provide funding for private health insurance for those Americans who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. Senator Coburn’s legislation the Patient’s Choice Act proposes a refundable tax credit of $2,300 per individual and $5,700 per family. This would be one way to help Americans cover their health insurance costs without a complete federal government takeover of the system.

Lowered Costs and Maintained Choice. We need to lower the cost of medical procedures and the cost of health insurance. The best way to do this is to ensure transparency in the system. We need to allow patients to view the costs of procedures as well as the costs of insurance policies side-by-side. This will encourage competition within the market and help to lower prices without putting federal bureaucrats between patients and their doctors.

Access for All Americans. Access to health care is a major issue in rural America. Right now, there are many Oklahomans who live in rural areas and have problems getting to hospitals or doctors in order to receive the treatments they need. One way to address this issue would be to expand the use of telemedicine technologies. In Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University sponsors a mobile clinic that drives to area towns that do not have a local hospital. Patients receive treatments directly from staff in conjunction with doctors and specialists via video without having to drive hundreds of miles. It has become a great asset to the communities it serves.

Although there are other important subjects that should also be addressed – including preventative care and continued innovation in the medical field – I believe addressing these three issues will have the greatest impact. I will continue to monitor all pieces of legislation currently being considered in Congress regarding health care and I look forward to working with my colleagues to draft a final bill that will improve our health care system in a fiscally responsible way without losing the standard of care we have now.

More on Health

February 26, 2021 Press Release
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1319- the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Lucas opposed the legislation.
January 21, 2021 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) applauded the establishment and opening of the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence (OPCIE). Located in Stillwater, the center will serve as the state’s frontline of defense against any future biosecurity-threatening diseases and will leverage Oklahoma’s unique rural and urban assets to benefit public health.
December 23, 2020 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Earlier this week, Congress passed H.R. 133- the Consolidated Appropriations Act, providing coronavirus relief and federal appropriations until September 30, 2021. The bipartisan, bicameral package included a number of important priorities supported by Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), benefiting individuals, families, workers, and businesses across Oklahoma.
November 23, 2020 In The News
Oklahoma set a record for COVID-19 hospitalizations last week, and the United States reached a grim milestone of more than 250,000 coronavirus deaths.
November 5, 2020 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Last week, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced that the Trump Administration is awarding $125,000 to Oklahoma State University, in corporation with the Creek County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, through the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program to help prevent youth substance abuse.
October 26, 2020 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Last week, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) led two letters to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar expressing concerns over recent, now revised, changes to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting requirements. After receiving feedback from the Members of Congress and other stakeholders, HHS has announced that it will amend its PRF reporting requirements- ensuring Oklahoma’s hospitals have access to COVID-19 relief funds.
September 28, 2020 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after President Trump, on Thursday, September 24, 2020, signed an Executive Order on An America-First Healthcare Plan, aimed at protecting patients with pre-existing conditions and putting an end to surprise medical billing:
September 8, 2020 Frankly Speaking
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress’ number one priority has been, and continues to be, the safety and protection of the American people from this virus. That’s why on March 4, 2020, an initial $7.8 billion emergency funding bill was passed to aid the U.S.’ response to the pandemic. Soon after that, Congress acted again passing the CARES Act, providing $2 trillion in aid to hospitals, businesses, and individuals.
August 28, 2020 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (the Order) further expanding access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in rural communities. Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement today applauding the Trump Administration’s actions and committing to continue to work to further expand access to health care in Oklahoma’s rural communities:
August 27, 2020 Press Release
Cheyenne, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) announced today he recently cosponsored Congressman Jason Smith’s (MO-08) Saving Rural Hospitals from Closure Act, which authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take certain measures, including forgiving all Medicare accelerated payments for rural hospitals that are experiencing severe financial hardship.