Skip to comments.Shhhh! There's GOP alternative to Obamacare
Posted on 08/31/2009 8:50:32 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The Republican alternative to Democrat-care, which liberals don't want you to know about, has been hijacked. They don't want people to know about it because the Astroturf, un-American crazies might like it.
The "Empowering Patients First Act," or H.R. 3400, was introduced by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and 27 co-sponsors on July 30, 2009, prior to the congressional recess. It was then referred to eight House committees.
The head hijacker is Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As Rep. Price pointed out during a radio interview with me last week, the rules in the House assert that bills will remain in committees "for a period to be subsequently determined by the speaker." Thank you Nancy!
The highly contentious 1,000-plus-page Democrat health-care proposal cleared the committees in a few days. The 63-page Republican alternative is stuck in committees, and it can't get out. Speaker Pelosi can simply keep it there while they continue to try to shove their proposal down the throats of the American people.
The mainstream media has aided and abetted the hijacking of the Republican alternative. In addition to not reporting on the alternative, they have helped to keep public attention away from the hidden provisions of the Democrats' health-care Trojan horse. They have also helped to keep attention on "how do we pay for it" and "what do we call it" as they proclaim it must pass.
The president and his administration, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the liberals in Congress are trying to sell the public on Democrat-care, rather than listen to what a majority of We the People are saying. The Democrats are organizing hundreds of rallies across the country to counter the thunderous disagreement that they have encountered against Democrat-care during their August recess, and they label all criticism as smears and lies.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...
The Empowering Patients First Act, or H.R. 3400, would allow:
* Individuals to choose their health insurance (no mandates)
* Deductibility of health insurance premiums regardless of who pays
* Employers to provide flexible health-insurance options to employees
* Health insurance coverage for low-income families (300 percent of the federal poverty level)
* Health insurance for high-risk individuals (pre-existing conditions)
* Sale of health insurance across state lines
* Expansion of Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs
* Individual membership association health insurance plan
* Association Health Insurance Plans
* Medical liability limitations (Tort reform)
Unlike Obamacare, the Republican alternative would NOT:
* Impose fines on workers or employers
* Require cuts in Medicare
* Increase taxes
* Require a new government bureaucracy
* Require a “government health insurance” option
* Add $1 trillion or more to the national debt.
Full bill here:
The bill would provide a tax deduction and an income-related refundable tax credit for health insurance purchased by individuals (i.e., outside the group insurance market). The tax credit would be available only to individuals living in states operating a high-risk health insurance pool; and federal grant funding would be provided to states for such pools. Incentives would be given for employers to offer employees the option of a contribution toward other health insurance coverage in lieu of the employer plan. State insurance laws would be overridden to permit the sale of individual health insurance across state lines. Federal rules would be established and application of state laws preempted for insurance provided through association health plans and individual membership associations. Expansion of the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would be prohibited for those with incomes above 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and restricted for those between 200% and 300% of FPL. States would be required to offer group coverage and other private coverage options under Medicaid and CHIP. Federal limits on medical liability claims would be established. Medicare physician payment would be modified. The bill would be financed through reduced discretionary spending, repeal of stimulus bill provisions and other provisions.
Individual requirements (mandate)
Employer requirements (mandate)
Employers would have to disclose on each employees W2 Form the employers contribution toward the employees health insurance benefit.
Employer health plans would be exempted from various existing federal requirements (but not those regarding pre-existing condition exclusions) if they offer employees the option of receiving a contribution toward other health insurance coverage in lieu of the employer plan. The Contribution would equal the employers share of premiums under the employers group coverage. The federal employees health benefits program would offer this option, and would also be required to equalize the employer contribution amount for each health plan offered to federal employees.
States could not impose restrictions on employee health plan autoenrollment under which employees are automatically enrolled the employers health plan with the lowest employee premium unless they choose otherwise. Notice and employee opt-out requirements are specified.
States could not expand CHIP coverage to children in families with incomes above 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL), and could only expand CHIP between 200% and 300% of FPL once 90% of eligible children under 200% of FPL are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. Coverage in states with prior eligibility would be grandfathered. State application of income disregards in determining CHIP eligibility would be limited. All states would be required to indicate plans for achieving the 90% enrollment target.
States would have to provide a means for Medicaid and CHIP coverage of children under group health plans and would be given flexibility for covering enrollees through purchase of family coverage under group health plans. Such enrollment could not be made mandatory. No federal minimum benefit requirements or limits on beneficiary cost sharing would apply. States would be required to ensure coverage of well baby and well child care through supplemental benefits if not covered under the group plan.
States required to offer private plan coverage options under Medicaid and CHIP; cost sharing limitations would not apply to this coverage; states could supplement cost sharing.
Tax subsidies to individuals
A tax deduction would be provided for individual health insurance premiums, capped at the national average value of employer contributions for health insurance coverage (which are excluded from individual income taxes). Deduction would be above the line (i.e., allowed in computing adjusted gross income.)
An advanceable, refundable health insurance tax credit would be provided of up to $2,000 a year for an individual, $4,000 for a couple, plus $500 per dependent up to a maximum of 2 dependents. Credit amounts would be indexed to the consumer price index. The credit would be gradually reduced for those with incomes above 200% of the FPL, and is intended to be unavailable to those above 300% of FPL. The credit would not be available to individuals with subsidized employer group coverage. Also excluded would be those enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or other federal health coverage, except that these individuals could elect the tax credit in lieu of these benefits.
Board-certified physicians could deduct from income taxes any bad debts related to provision of federally-required emergency care, up to Medicare rates.
Tax subsidies to small employers
A temporary (2 year) tax credit would be available to small employers (50 employees or fewer) of up to $1,500 for the costs of establishing employee health plan defined contribution options or an autoenrollment process.
State laws with respect to individual health insurance coverage would be preempted to permit sale of insurance across state lines. Insurers would identify a primary state, the insurance laws of which would apply; laws of secondary states in which coverage is sold related to the offer, sale, rating and renewal and issuance of coverage would be preempted. Secondary states could impose applicable premium taxes and require registry and, at times, require financial examination. Insurers could not reclassify individuals upon renewal, or increase premiums based on health status or claims experience; premium increases based on claims experience of a class of business, discounts for wellness activities, and retroactive rate adjustments for applicant misrepresentation would be permitted. Requirements would be imposed regarding disclosures and enrollee appeals. The primary state would have to use a risk-based capital formula for determining insurer capital and surplus requirements. The bill intends that after 2 years, individuals could only purchase insurance from another state if home-state premiums exceed the national average by 10 percent or more.
The Secretary would be required to contract with states to develop websites providing standardized information for consumers on health insurance plans available for purchase and price and quality information on health care providers.
Insurers would have to disclose to employers and other group health plan sponsors, upon request, specified information on the plans claims experience.
No funds authorized in the bill could be used to cover any part of the costs of a health plan that covers abortion except in specified limited circumstances. Federal agencies and states would be prohibited from discriminating against health care entities that do not provide, pay for, or refer for abortions.
Group health plans could vary premiums and cost sharing for participation in a standards-based wellness program by up to 50% of the value of the plan benefits.
Pooling Mechanism: State High Risk Pools
$300 million would be appropriated annually for block grants to states operating high risk pools under current law or for new pools, which would have to offer at least one option that is a high deductible plan in combination with a health savings account. Funds could also be used for reinsurance pools or other risk adjustment mechanisms for high risk populations. Bonus payments would be available to states that act to guarantee availability of insurance to certain individuals, reduce premium trends, expand the pool, or adopt model legislation.
Individual Membership Associations
State benefit mandates and certain other state laws would be preempted with respect to health insurance sold through individual membership associations (IMAs), directed by an association that has existed for at least 5 years and formed for purposes other than offering insurance. IMAs could only offer coverage to members, would have to offer it to all members, and could not condition membership on health status. IMA coverage would have to be provided through licensed health insurers; IMAs could not assume insurance risk.
Association Health Plans
Rules and procedures would be established for federal certification of Association Health Plans (AHPs) offered to employers, and certified AHPs would be exempted from most state health insurance laws, including benefit mandates. AHPs would be certified by the Secretary of Labor (consulting with the AHPs primary domicile state).
An AHP sponsor could be a bona fide trade or industry association, chamber of commerce, or similar organization operating for purposes other than obtaining or providing medical care. Membership could not be conditioned on health status and members must pay dues. Certification requirements specified related to sponsors, participation and coverage, premiums, and marketing. Premiums charged to participating small employers could not vary on the basis of health status, business or industry, but could vary based on claims experience and other methods that would be permitted under state laws regulating bona fide associations. AHPs offering self-insured plans would have to meet additional requirements, primarily related to financial reserves and solvency. Trusteeship by the Secretary of Labor would be established for any certified plans that become insolvent.
States could only impose premium taxes on AHPs that begin operating in the state after enactment. Rate could not exceed that imposed on other insurers, and would be reduced by amounts imposed on any insurers in connection with the AHP.
Federal rules would be established for medical liability claims, including a limit on compensation for noneconomic damages of $250,000 and restrictions on claims for punitive damages. No punitive damages would be permitted for products approved by the Food and Drug Administration and providers would not liable for claims related to use of FDA-approved products. Conflicting state laws would be preempted, but not those providing for greater protections for providers and health care organizations.
No award of nonecomonic damages would be permitted for treatment within guidelines that the Secretary is directed to issue; the guidelines would be developed by a physician consensus building organization under a contract agreement and would have to be approved by physician specialty organizations. Funding would be authorized for demonstration grants to states for establishing administrative health care tribunals to resolve liability disputes.
Authorization of funding for medical student loans for primary care would be extended, and unspecified funding authorized for loans to medical students in residency programs other than primary care. A new loan forgiveness program would be created providing up to $50,000 for medical students who practice primary care for at least five years.
The sustainable growth rate formula for Medicare physician payment would be revised and House rules would be amended to apply procedures relating to the Medicare funding warning.
Data from federally-funded comparative effectiveness research could not be used to deny coverage under federal health care programs, and such research account would be required to account for specified factors contributing to differences in treatment response and treatment preferences of patients.
The Secretary would be required to propose to the Congress a formalized process for developing performance based quality measures for Medicare physician services. Measures would have to be agreed to by the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement and by each physician specialty organization.
Discretionary spending would be reduced; unused discretionary funds appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 would be rescinded and numerous provisions of that Act would be repealed, including increased Medicaid funding, premium assistance for COBRA benefits, and Medicare and Medicaid health information technology funding. Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share hospital funding would be reduced if bill results in a decrease in the rate of uninsured of more than 8 percentage points). The bill also includes anti-fraud and abuse provisions.
Now that just makes way too much sense and doesn’t give nearly enough control of the citizenry to our Dear Leader Obortion.
I like it too, except for this part.
No punitive damages would be permitted for products approved by the Food and Drug Administration and providers would not liable for claims related to use of FDA-approved products.
Faget abot it!!!!!!
It's surprising how often we collectively waste hundreds of hours each of us independently trying to find an on line copy of proposed legislation.
If we gave every legal man, woman and child in the country one million bucks for a health care account, we wouldn’t even come close to spending a trillion dollars. It’s insane the waste of money.
I wonder why it’s been under wraps for a month. Jeez.
Unfortunately, what really matters as an argument is present worth.
The point is still valid, if someone smarter than I financial-wise can figure out what that present worth is...
The "progressives" are experts at it.
The Republicans have always been missing in action.
They'd rather be "liked" than "do the right thing."
“If we gave every legal man, woman and child in the country one million bucks for a health care account, we wouldnt even come close to spending a trillion dollars. Its insane the waste of money.”
Really? it would be $330 trillion! much greater than the 1 trillion you quoted
You may want to check your math.
I don’t hear any Republicans screaming bloody murder over what is going on.. Americans are waking up... Republicans are trying to ride our coattails.
I don’t care if there is an alternative. Leave it alone.
I don’t want any sort of reform.
Well, you know the media won’t report that as long as they can... Actually, I would love to see the negatives against the current bills in Congress and the Senate along with the proposed changes in the GOP version...
You don’t really expect that to be discussed in the Media do you? That would be against all liberal publications ethics...
They are not interested in the best plan - only the Democratic alternatives... Much less what is actually good for America!
Then blame SanFranNan for suppressing the alternative.
Folks are finally catching on to the fact that absolutely no one actually knows what's in a 1000 page bill...:^)
Great, so maybe you can answer my question. I have dsl, but it took a minute or two for the linked bill to load, so could you venture a guess as to the number of pages the GOP bill contains?
You see, I am of the opinion that all bills should be no more than 50 pages in length.
Furthermore, I think all bills should written in language that people with a valid high school education can understand.
I can live with that!
You have that right.. Liberals care about more about Power and Politics.. They can’t even keep it out of their funerals.
The only reform we should be interested in is getting government completely and totally out of health care. No Republican alternative should be acceptable unless it has to do with achieving health care free from government interest and intervention.
It is an insane amount of money because most of the people running this country are insane.
Be in D.C.!
Well, excuse the heck out of me math wizards. Humph, with my math skills I could be an Obama czar!
From my understanding, House Bill (3200) is in it's 4th rendition and there is no bill to pass on to for the returning session.
I doubt any one who has had a meeting (or been on see me tv) can be honest if they say they know what will happen.
Nothing has even passed, never mind had any bridges or parks attached to it!
This is the first I have heard of it. Why?
That check isn't just printed and sent to these people, it taken from and given to them, out my pocket. How is that fair? I earned my money the hard way, I worked for it and put with a lot of crap to get it.
There ZERO problem with anyone receiving health care. You do not need health insurance to get the most basic of care, which can help you manage your life more healthily(if that's a word).
Health Insurance is $300 per month or at a minimum $3,600 per year. When you see a doctor the maximum they charge is $150. I see mine at least 4 times per year, so he knows me and my body. That comes out to $600. My medicines cost another $200 per year.
Let's see: $3,600 - $800 = $2,800. That's $2,800 that I did not need to spend and most people, if they sat down and looked at their actual used services vs how much they spend on health care, health insurance, deductibles, minimums, maximums, etc would really not justify the cost.
Are there challenges in the system? Sure, but who is going to pay for those services that can save “your” life or extend it? Should that be the rest of society by forced confiscation or should you be responsible for your health care.
It really doesn't cost that much to stay in shape and eat right(this coming from someone who has gotten rather lax in last several years but, I am working out again and eating right).
I really does not cost that much to develop a relationship with a doctor who will get to know you and your body.
What are the really big problems in health care that need fixing?
I have some ideas that are rarely talked about like refusing care for non emergency visits, from habitual abusers of the medical system. Things like the entire family coming in for check ups, colds, etc.
A hospital is not the proper venue for that. A doctor is.
I don’t want any da****d alternative, I want health care to be left alone. I want tort reform, I want the sale of insurance across state lines, but I want health care left alone!!!!and I would bet the majority of Americans do also. Leave it to the frickin’ republicans to snatch defeat from victory.
Once the government get's its hands on our health care, no matter how unobtrusive it seems at first it will turn into the exact type of BS the house is trying to push through now.
You are a fool if you believe otherwise. We have the best health care in the world, Canadians and other foreign nationals prove that by coming here for care.
Keep the government out of my health care and if you want anything different take your a** to some other country.
Ditto. I don't care which party you belong to. Stay the hell out of my life.
I don’t have the money for your scenario anymore than I have the money to pay for more than my auto insurance will pay but, it’ll just have to get paid. $300/$150/$300 is a lot for auto insurance but those are the maximums along with all the other stipulations, maximums and deductibles.
And yes it costs me a pretty penny to have that amount of auto insurance but that is about the most I can afford without going crazy.
Your line of reasoning lacks intellectual depth. Really, it does.
You cannot possibly plan for every event in your life. Life happens.
You cannot possibly purchase insurance against all catastrophies. You will go bankrupt and may purchase too much insurance wasting valuable money. And again life happens.
Even when I had so called health insurance it came with prohibitions, permission slips to see the next doctor, deductibles (that means $$$$ and lots of $$$ out your pocket that the insurance company will not pay), minimum or standard care disclaimers (again $$$$ and lots of it, maximum allowable (and again with the $$$ and lot of it) the list goes on and on and on.
The insurance companies aren’t stupid either. They could not possibly cover everyone and everything. Why? They would go broke.
See, the way insurance companies work is off of a pool of money called arbitrage. So long as there are more premiums coming in than money going out, they can keep up this semi and legal Ponzi scheme.
You (everyone) on the other hand have handed the insurance company more than $3,000 per year over a lifetime and you think what? They are going to look back over your history and say to themselves Well, he has been a good guy over the years. No claims, very few claims, etc and whatever.
Do you really think that?
The insurance company looks for dis-allowables all the time.
The insurance company looks for standard care provided scenarios you fall into. (I have been there and I ended paying for the rest of the care and got it done when I wanted it done without a permission slip from the insurance company)
The insurance company only covers so much, after that you fall out of scope of the coverage provided.
The insurance company will only pay so much for a given condition. Like gall bladder surgery. They will only pay up to $5,000 based on a whole host of conditions and then you pay the balance, plus your deductible that is about $9,000 out of your pocket. Dont like the terms? Suffer or pay your share.
What total coverage or miracle of free care are people looking for? Go to the clinics or emergency rooms. You dont have money and want to avail yourself of free care? No problem, have seat in the waiting room, well get to you soon.
What does soon mean to you? A couple of minutes, 15 minutes or realistically, more like a couple of hours or all day.
So, like you, I hope I dont get cancer. If I do I will work out whatever I can to pay them and send a thank you note for saving my life.
That’s funny! lol
from last night about GOP alternative to healthcare: