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Opinion: Health care cannot get lost in the mix once Congress returns

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FILE- In this Aug. 1, 2017, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., holds his first news conference since the Republican health care bill collapsed last week due to opposition within the GOP ranks, on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Congress has a lot to do.

They left for recess after the Senate fell just one vote shy of passing a healthcare reform bill. Now, our representatives are going to be eager to tackle other important issues.

Health care cannot get lost in the mix.

Some Republican lawmakers are still working on alternative repeal and replace plans. Others are working with Democrats to improve and strengthen current insurance markets.

This is important because until a new bill is passed, Obamacare remains the law of the land.

We just learned that every county across the country will have an insurance option in 2018. While that is a good sign, it is projected that 47 percent of counties will only have one carrier. So, while you may have coverage, there may still be no choice.

Also, exact premium increases for 2018 are not yet defined. Certain insurance companies, however, have already indicated that they expect double digit premium hikes next year.

Obamacare will have harsh impacts on Americans if it is not drastically altered.

Here is the bottom line: healthcare reform is not going away as a major agenda item. While improving the insurance markets is needed, it’s only a band aid solution to the larger problem. There is going to be an aggressive push on the debt ceiling, budget and tax reform in the fall, but we need to keep pressure on members of Congress to find a way to overhaul the healthcare system.