Republican Replacement Ideas for Obamacare Will Empower Patients With More Affordable Health Care Choices.
WASHINGTON, D.C. | FEBRUARY 13, 2017 (PRESS RELEASE) – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) debated Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a CNN Town Hall regarding the future of Obamacare. During the debate, Sen. Cruz discussed some of the Republican ideas for replacing Obamacare that put patients, working with their doctors — and not the government — back in charge of their health.
After repealing Obamacare, below are some of the key Republican ideas that have been proposed to put patients back in charge of their health care:
“After repealing Obamacare, below are some of the key Republican ideas that have been proposed to put patients back in charge of their health care: Dramatically expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) by allowing Americans to put more money into these tax-advantaged accounts. Americans should be able to pay for health insurance premiums out of their HSAs, and they should be able to use HSA dollars for all kinds of innovative health care uses, such as direct primary care, and American families should be able to save money in HSAs regardless of whether they have have a high deductible plan, or whether they are insured at all.” ~by Ted Cruz on February 8, 2017 at 1:04 PM
Pursue reforms that address the supply of health care. Breaking down barriers to entry at the Food and Drug Administration is a great place to start. We must pursue reciprocity, the policy of approving drugs that are already approved in other developed countries that we trust. If a drug or device is good enough to save thousands of British, Israeli, or French lives, Americans should be able to access it as well. This would decrease drug prices by allowing more competition and create more hope for the 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases, but who do not have access to critical, potentially lifesaving care.
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Allow for the sale of insurance across state lines. The Health Care Choice Act, which Sen. Cruz and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) have previously introduced, would do this. Big insurance companies will not like the additional competition, but the American people would benefit from expanded choices and lower prices.
Dramatically expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) by allowing Americans to put more money into these tax-advantaged accounts. Americans should be able to pay for health insurance premiums out of their HSAs, and they should be able to use HSA dollars for all kinds of innovative health care uses, such as direct primary care, and American families should be able to save money in HSAs regardless of whether they have have a high deductible plan, or whether they are insured at all.
Uncouple health insurance from employment. Currently, big employers have an advantage on small businesses, the individually insured and those who are unemployed by getting a practically unlimited tax benefit for providing health insurance. By reforming this World War II-era system, and letting individual families, small businesses and the unemployed compete on a level playing field with big employers, insurance companies will be able to tailor more plans for a wide range of families based on their individual needs. Many employers will still offer great health plans and some may give their workers more money in their pockets. We should open up more choices for families and their employers, not fewer.
Block-grant Medicaid dollars and abstain from penalizing states for not expanding Medicaid. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Governor Rick Perry before him, courageously stood tall against Obamacare bureaucrats and many vocal state interests who encouraged them to expand a broken program in Texas. We should return these Medicaid dollars back to the states with only the most basic conditions that the dollars be used to care for their needy — and we should base the amount of those dollars on their need, not an outdated formula or a political decision to endorse Obamacare.
Give seniors more choice, not less. Currently, seniors who choose to opt out of Medicare lose access to their Social Security benefits because of a Clinton-era bureaucratic decision. This is an outrage that must end. Doing so would allow seniors the security to choose a health care plan that fits their needs while retaining their Social Security benefits. This will open up more choices for seniors and not treat them as second class citizens who are unable to make their own decisions. From there we can begin to craft a system that provides seniors with greater choices over their Medicare contributions, if they choose to do so.