Yesterday CSC Media Group, a conservative website, posted an article about S.222, a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rand Paul. The bill, called the ObamaCare Replacement Act, would repeal and replace ObamaCare. Currently the bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance. The bill is four pages long. The summary of the bill is not yet posted at Thomas.gov, but you can go to Thomas.gov and put in S.222 and read the entire bill. You can also follow the link to the website above and read the bill.
The following is the CSC Summary of the bill given in the article:
Legalizes Inexpensive Insurance Plans:
- Ensures that Americans can purchase the health insurance coverage that best fits their needs.
- Eliminates Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement, along with other restrictive coverage and plan requirements, to once again make low-cost insurance options available to American consumers.
Protects Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions:
- Provides a two-year open-enrollment period under which individuals with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
- Restores HIPAA pre-existing conditions protections. Prior to Obamacare, HIPAA guaranteed that those in the group market could obtain continuous health coverage regardless of preexisting conditions.
Helps More People Save To Buy Health Insurance and Cover Medical Costs:
- Incentivizes savings by authorizing a tax credit (up to $5,000 per taxpayer) for individuals and families that contribute to HSAs.
- Removes the annual cap on HSAs so individuals can make unlimited contributions.
- Allows HSA funds to be used to purchase insurance, cover premiums, and more easily afford a broader range of health-related expenses, including prescription and OTC drugs, dietary supplements, nutrition and physical exercise expenses, and direct primary care, among others.
Guarantees Fair Tax Treatment of Health Insurance:
- Equalizes the tax treatment of the purchase of health insurance for individuals and employers by allowing individuals to deduct the cost of their health insurance from their income and payroll taxes.
- Frees more Americans to purchase and maintain insurance apart from their work status.
- Does not interfere with employer-provided coverage for Americans who prefer those plans.
Helps Individuals Join Together to Purchase Insurance:
- Expands Association Health Plans (AHPs) to allow small business owners and individuals to band together across state lines through their membership in a trade or professional association to purchase health coverage for their families and employees at a lower cost.
- Also allows individuals to pool together through any organization to purchase insurance.
- Widens access to the group market and spreads out the risk, enhancing the ability of individuals and small businesses to decrease costs, increase administrative efficiencies, and further protect those with pre-existing conditions.
Allows the Purchase of Insurance Across State Lines:
- Creates an interstate market that allows insurers who are licensed to sell policies in one state to offer them to residents of any other state.
Increases State Medicaid Flexibility:
- Enables states to fully exercise current flexibilities afforded to them through Medicaid waivers for creating innovative state plan designs.
- Allows non-economically aligned physicians to negotiate for higher quality health care for their patients.
- Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a physician a tax deduction equal to the amount such physician would otherwise charge for charity medical care or uncompensated care due to bad debt, limited to 10% of a physician’s gross income for the taxable year.
Rand Paul is a doctor who practiced medicine for more than ten years before becoming a Senator. I believe he understands the problems involved in health insurance better than most senators. Among other things, his plan allows doctors to treat patients who cannot pay and take a limited tax deduction for providing the services. I think that is a wonderful idea.
This is a healthcare plan I can support.