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The Republican Replacement: The GOP is introducing a plan that would replace the health-care law...
National Review Online ^ | September 18, 2013 | Andrew Stiles

Posted on 09/18/2013 10:34:10 PM PDT by neverdem

The GOP is introducing a plan that would replace the health-care law they hope to defund.

As polls highlight the American public’s unease about President Obama’s signature health-care law, House Republicans on Wednesday introduced legislation to repeal and replace it completely with a plan of their own.

The bill, called the American Health Care Reform Act, is the product of a health-care working group convened by Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.), chairman of the 175-member Republican Study Committee (RSC).

“I think we’ve done a very effective job of pointing out all the things that are bad about the president’s health-care law, but people want to know what we stand for as well,” Scalise told reporters during a briefing at the National Review office on Capitol Hill. “The public, as they get more angry about the existing law, they are going to want to have something else to put in its place.”

The group, which had been working on the plan for several months, included several members of the Republican Doctors Caucus, including Representatives Phil Roe (Tenn.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), John Fleming (La.), and Paul Gosar (Ariz.).

“We were all saying we needed to have an alternative and put it on paper, to allow people to compare and contrast,” Gosar tells me. “We have the expertise — those of us in the doctor’s caucus who have actually provided health care. These are real solutions based on years and years in the trenches.”

Democrats have routinely criticized Republicans for attacking Obamacare without proposing a viable replacement. The president repeated this argument on Monday during his address immediately following the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. “Remember, initially this was like repeal-and-replace, and the replace thing has kind of gone off to the wayside. Now it’s just repeal.”

In fact, Representative Tom Price (R., Ga.), an orthopedic surgeon and former RSC chairman, has proposed a comprehensive replacement bill for three years running. And now, Scalise and company plan to push for a full debate and vote on their legislation. They’ll even seek input from Democrats. “You can’t pass a bill that’s entirely done by one party that affects every person in the country,” Roe said. “We’re open to Democratic ideas and amendments. We can’t just shut out an entire party.”

The RSC’s legislation is similar to Price’s proposal, and contains many ideas that conservatives will find familiar. At less than 200 pages in length, it is considerably more digestible than Obamacare, a 2,700-page piece of legislation that’s now become a 7-foot-3-inch tower of red tape. “The American people want smaller bills that they understand,” Gosar says. “The more complex you get, the harder it is to define. You paint yourself into a corner, where the government is dictating everything.”

The American Health Care Reform Act would repeal Obamacare in its entirety, in order to “start with a clean slate,” Scalise said, but would strive to achieve similar goals — more affordable health care and increased access — and do so without mandates or tax increases.

The bill aims to create a more competitive market for health insurance by letting people purchase plans across state lines and allowing small businesses to pool together to negotiate lower rates. It would also amend existing law to increase transparency in payments and pricing so patients would have a better understanding of the cost of care and ultimately become more discerning consumers. “The American people are the best consumers in the world,” Roe said. “We will drive across five lanes of interstate to get gas two cents a gallon cheaper, so don’t tell me you won’t get the same thing [in health care].”

The plan seeks to “level the playing field” between consumers who receive insurance from an employer and those who purchase insurance on the individual market. The latter group would receive significant tax breaks to offset the cost of buying insurance: Individuals would be able to claim a $7,500 deduction against their income and payroll taxes for qualifying health plans, while families would be able to deduct $20,000. The legislation would also expand access to portable health savings accounts, and increase the maximum allowable contribution to such accounts.

The bill would increase federal funding for state high-risk pools, which insure people with especially expensive and preexisting conditions, by $25 billion over ten years, and would cap premiums in those pools at 200 percent of the average premium in a given state. It would also guarantee that individuals with preexisting conditions could move between insurance plans while maintaining coverage in the interim.

Medical liability law would be reformed to cap awards on punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees, in an effort to limit the common (and increasingly expensive) practice of “defensive medicine.” Federal funding for abortion coverage would be explicitly prohibited except in cases of rape, incest, and risks to the life of the mother.

The bill is being introduced as Republicans on Capitol Hill appear to have coalesced around a plan to tie a government-funding resolution to a permanent defunding of the president’s health-care law. While that particular effort is unlikely to succeed this time around, Democrats will no longer be able to accuse them of not having a replacement plan for Obamacare.

“This is a starting point,” Gosar says. “We want people to be able to offer their viewpoints, and we want to share this with the American people. We’re not scared of this issue, we love this issue.”

— Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obamacare; ppaca
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To: neverdem


21 posted on 09/19/2013 12:22:39 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: stanne
Our obesity rate is out of control.

It was good news, so you didn't hear about it.

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2013

"After three decades of increases, adult obesity rates remained level in every state except for one, Arkansas,"

I read a story not long ago that said soft drink consumption has decreased.

22 posted on 09/19/2013 12:25:31 AM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: neverdem

I love this bill. The deductions would be huge for us. Pass it!

23 posted on 09/19/2013 12:52:47 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: steve86

We pay over $2k a month in health insurance premiums. The deduction would be radical good to us.

24 posted on 09/19/2013 12:53:47 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: oldbrowser

Just a thought, but couldn’t the insurance plan a person was on, when the condition was determined continue to pay for treatment of the realized risk, even if the subject leaves the plan? It may change pricing and add some complexity when conditions overlap, but this is one possible way insurance can work without forcing insurance companies to take on new policyholders and their pre existing conditions.

To make it easier, once an individual is in a plan, they should be able to stay with the plan, even if they terminate employment, however they must pay full premiums(non employer subsidised premium), if the terminate. Subsequent employers can give an allowance equivalent to their new term of employment health care subsidy to help subsidise the premiums of the previous plan.

25 posted on 09/19/2013 12:57:24 AM PDT by InsideOutsideUpsideDown
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To: neverdem

Political posturing from the GOPe RINO leadership.

Defund Obamacare.......

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To: steve86
I don't/can't work and have no taxes to pay. So of what use is the tax deduction?

The point here is that employer provided insurance is tax free income. If you pay for your own healthcare, it isn't automatically tax deductible.

27 posted on 09/19/2013 1:15:17 AM PDT by j. earl carter
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To: neverdem

“””Our obesity rate is out of control”””


Take 49% of the country off of handouts of free meals, TV, electricity, shelter from 51% of the hard working Americans.

These 49% start WORKING for a living and burning some calories instead of talking on their Obamaphones and maybe we can get this obesity problem under control.

Government only creates problems never has solutions.

Sure they announced defunding Obamacare yesterday. Now here comes the other hand out of the smoke and WHACK.

New and improved FERAL Government program. All wrapped up in a new acronym, in a new shiney box to FIX the problem.


28 posted on 09/19/2013 1:28:14 AM PDT by eartick (Been to the line in the sand and liked it)
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To: neverdem; All

Why are they even doing this???

The “system” as it used to be before the Obamacare law started to screw things up even more was tolerable, ot wasn’t perfect, but workable...And affordable...

If it isn’t totally broken, don’t fix it...

Much less allow the government to step in and try to take it over and manage it...

That is an ambulance looking for a lawyer to chase it!!!

You’d think the republican representatives up in D.C. would have gooten that hint that even though the “public”, you know, the voting public doesn’t want this in any way, shape or form...

Don’t introduce your idea of government provided healthcare just because the other dipsticks across the aisle did so this time...Why try to see who can wee-wee higher up on the wall in this case!!!

One of the days, hopefully real soon, the elected caste of both political factions will poke the lion (Joe Q. Public) one too many tiomes with that stick...

And the reaction will be very ugly...

29 posted on 09/19/2013 1:48:11 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (It's not the color of one's skin that offends's how thin it is.)
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To: neverdem

Repeal first. Then we can talk about a replacement. If any.

30 posted on 09/19/2013 1:54:01 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: clintonh8r
The world's best health care system needed only a couple of simple things to make it better: Tort reform Open insurance markets across state lines But no. They had to go and @^%$ it up.

They enacted it in an "unconventional" process without the approval of both political parties. It is a liberal economic time-bomb. It will only do harm to those who have to pay for it and advance the socialist welfare state destroying the best medical system on the planet. It does not control costs, it merely shifts them to taxpayers.

31 posted on 09/19/2013 2:01:27 AM PDT by Rapscallion (Vlad the Impaler proposed no path to citizenhip. Consider that.)
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To: neverdem
The country does need medical reform, but not Obungacare.

The size of obungacare indicates to me that it is about power and not about health care. Likewise Mark Steyn notes that the job of director or head of public health has become the biggest govt. job in European countries which have public health care i.e. it would be a step upwards from PM or President or King or Grand Duke or anything else to head of health care. In other words, European health care is ultimate bureaucracy. If I had the power to I would institute a sort of a basic health care reform which would be overwhelmingly simple and which would resemble the thing we're reading about in no way, shape, or manner. Key points would be:

1. Elimination of lawsuits against doctors and other medical providers. There would be a general fund to compensate victims of malpractice for actual damage and a non-inbred system for weeding out those guilty of malpractice. The non-inbred system would be a tribunal composed not just of oher doctors, but of plumbers, electricians, engineers, and everybody else as well.

2. Elimination of the artificial exclusivity of the medical system. In other words our medical schools could easily produce two or three times the number of doctors they do with no noticeable drop off in quality.

3. Elimination of the factors which drive the cost of medicines towards unaffordability. That would include both lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and government agencies which force costs into the billions to develop any new drug. There should be no suing a pharmaceutical for any drug which has passed FDA approval and somewhere between thalidamide and what we have now, there should be a happy medium.

4. Elimination of the outmoded WW-II notion of triage in favor of a system which took some rational account of who pays for the system and who doesn't. The horror stories I keep reading about the middle-class guy with an injured child having to fill out forms for three hours while an endless procession of illegal immigrants just walks in and are seen, would end, as would any possibility of that child waiting three hours for treatment while people were being seen for heroin overdoses or other lifestyle issues.

All of those things would fall under the heading of what TR called "trust busting". There would also be some system for caring the truly indigent, but the need and cost would be far less than at present.

By far the biggest item is that first one. I don't know the exact numbers but if you add every cost involved in our present out-of-control lawyering, it has to be a major fraction if not more than half of our medical costs. The trial lawyers' guild being one of the two major pillars of financial support for the democrat party is the basic reason nobody is saying anything about that part of the problem.

Other than that, you almost have to have seen some of the problems close up to have any sort of a feel for them.

Item 2, this is what I saw in grad school some time ago, although I do not have any reason to think much has changed. In the school I attended, there appeared to be sixty or seventy first year med students walking around and all but one or two of them would have made perfectly good doctors, they were all very bright and highly motivated. The only way the school should have lost any of those kids was either they discovered they couldn't deal with the sight of blood in real life or six months later they changed their minds and went off to Hollywood to become actors or actresses; the school should never have lost more than ten percent of them. But they knew from day one that they were keeping 35% of that class.

That system says that you know several things about the guy working on your body: You know he's a survivor, and that's highly unlikely to be from being better qualified than 65% of the other students; You know he hasn't had enough sleep (he's doing his work and the work of that missing 65%); You know he's probably doing some sort of drugs to deal with the lack of sleep... One of my first steps as "health Tsar" or whatever would be to tell the medical schools that henceforth if they ever drop more than15% of an incoming class, they'll lose their accreditation.

Item 3. My father walks into a pharmacy in Switzerland with a bottle of pills he normally pays $50 for in Fla. and asks the pharmacist if he can fill it. "Why certainly sir!", fills the bottle of pills and says "That will be $3.50." Seeing that my father was standing there in a state of shock, the man says "Gee, I'm sorry, Mr. V., you see, we have socialized medicine in Switzerland and if you were a Swiss citizen and paid into the systemn, why I could sell you this bottle of pills for $1.50 but, since you're foreign and do not pay into the system I have to charge you the full price, certainly you can appreciate that."

The guy thought my father was in shock because he was charging him too MUCH... Clearly whatever needs to be done with drugs amounts to trust busting, and not extracting more money from the American people.

Item 4. A caller to the Chris Plant show (D.C./WMAL) the other morning, an ER nurse, noted that much of the costs which her hospital had to absorb, as do most hospitals, was the problem of people with no resources using the ER as their first and only point of contact to the medical profession. She said that there were gang members who were constantly coming in for repairs from bullet holes and knife damage and drug problems, that they could not legally turn any of those people away, and that there was zero possibility of ever collecting any money from any of them, and that the costs of that were gigantic.

Clearly throwing money at that problems is not going to help anything either. Again if I'm the "Medicine Tsar", those guys would be cared for, but not at the ER or at least not the part of the ER where normal people go, and they would not be first in line. Mostly they'd be dealing with medical students who needed the practice patching up knife and bullet damage.

32 posted on 09/19/2013 2:04:31 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: oldbrowser

We have tort reform in California since 1976 and our medical costs are some of the highest compared to other states. It is next to impossible to sue a phyisician or hospital for malpractice in California. Maximum $250,000. so most attorneys will not take a case unless it is a minor child who has been disabled. MICRA tort reform is a license to kill.

33 posted on 09/19/2013 3:12:32 AM PDT by OafOfOffice (W.C:Socialism:Philosophy of failure,creed of ignorance,gospel of envy,the equal sharing of misery)
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To: neverdem

Ok but it’s - are you joking ?

34 posted on 09/19/2013 3:57:52 AM PDT by stanne
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To: neverdem


35 posted on 09/19/2013 4:00:58 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: neverdem

Just one more reason that the republican leadership need to be retired... dim light and NEVER FREEDOM AND LIBERTY. They let the commies own us all by incrementalism over 100 years and they are still at it. RETIRE THEM ALL!

36 posted on 09/19/2013 4:22:27 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: oldbrowser

Correct and this is great ammo to use against claims that you need to replace Democratcare with something else. Democratcare doesn’t solve anything, it worsens it.

37 posted on 09/19/2013 4:34:41 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: neverdem

This is very good, but you wouldn’t need it if the Commerce Clause were being enforced. Wickard v. Filburn cuts both ways. If a farmer’s personal consumption affects interstate trade and commerce, how much more does a state, county or localities laws affect interstate commerce.

Via the Commerce Clause we can revolutionize the nation and return it to the 19th century of growth, entrepreneurship and liberty. Of course, don’t say 19th century when presenting this publicly, but that’s the history.

38 posted on 09/19/2013 4:37:00 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: entropy12

The Media’s “Republicans Have No Obamacare Replacement” Myth

here are twenty-seven pages of health care bills Republicans introduced in this Congress:

These are some of the best ones:

Many good, debate-worthy bills have been introduced, and more bills are expected to be introduced. Each of these bills would move us toward a more patient-centered system by expanding individual freedom:

Rep. Paul Broun’s Patient OPTION Act (H.R. 4224)

Rep. Todd Rokita’s State Health Flexibility Act (H.R. 4160)

Sen. Rand Paul’s Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act (S. 2196)

Sen. Jim DeMint’s Retirement Freedom Act (S. 1317)

Rep. Bill Huizenga’s Health Freedom for Seniors Act (H.R. 3819)

39 posted on 09/19/2013 4:44:38 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: oldbrowser
The whole idea of insurance is that you are purchasing protection for a future illness. A group of people purchase this protection and only a smaller number of them actually will need to use it.

Exactly. Forcing insurance companies to cover existing illnesses is telling them to go against their business model.

40 posted on 09/19/2013 5:17:39 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks like Right-Wing extremism.)
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