One of the things that I felt really damaged the Romney campaign in 2012 was the motra of "repeal and replace" ObamaCare. We heard it repeated time and time again yet the Romney campaign didn't put forth a plan. I think that hindered the viability of their message and ultimately, the same problem is still looming for Republicans who want to get rid of ObamaCare. What do we "replace" it with?
I think we have yet to see a truly viable alternative to the socialist mess properly known as the Affordable Care Act, that is until now.
The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) recently released a patient-centered healthcare reform plan principally authored by Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Phil Roe (R-Tenn.). The plan is officially titled the American Health Care Reform Act and you can take a look at it in it's entirety here or look at the two page overview here.
Here are a few highlights from this plan:
- Fully repeals President Obama's health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs.
- Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations.
- Reforms medical malpractice laws in a commonsense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients.
- Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance.
- Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses.
- Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections.
- Protects the unborn by ensuring no federal funding of abortions.
So far as I can tell, the plan would be a significant step in the right direction (which at this point, is away from ObamaCare.) The one thing that I think is missing from this plan is with regards to addressing the issue of Medicare. Since Medicare makes up such a large part of the health care economy, it needs to be part of the plan.