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GOP’s Alternative to Obamacare

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Photo credit: Ralf Heß / Flickr

Major news sources have been producing stories about the lack of a Republican alternative to Obamacare. The truth is that a bill has been written to repeal Obamacare, and implement changes to the existing healthcare system.

The most effective healthcare system in the world must not be destroyed in the name of gaining control over one-sixth of the United States economy. Government-controlled healthcare quickly descends into a class society where people die as healthcare procedures are rationed.

The Republican alternative to Obamacare includes the following ideas.

Increase Access to Affordable Health Insurance

People who receive health insurance coverage through an employer or through the individual market would receive a standard deduction for health insurance.

This approach eliminates the incentive for insurance companies to devise more expensive plans each year.

Families would retain this tax benefit regardless of employment or state residence. Health savings accounts would be expanded to higher contribution limits that would pay for more medical costs. Employers would be encouraged to offer larger incentives for participating in wellness programs.

Paying for more expenses from the personal HSA would create incentives for patients to negotiate better rates for healthcare.

Vulnerable Americans Would Have Better Access to Coverage

Federal support to the states for high-risk insurance pools would be increased to $25 billion over the next 10 years. Affordable insurance coverage would be addressed at the state level for this segment of the population.

Premiums in these insurance pools would be capped at 200 percent of the state average. Existing programs would be supported without adding additional governmental departments that consume most of the money through administrative costs.

Pre-existing conditions are covered as long as the patient maintains continuous health insurance coverage. Exclusions because of pre-existing conditions would be negated under this law without having to exhaust the COBRA coverage before signing up for another plan.

Costs for the COBRA programs would be restrained because patients would remain in the private healthcare insurance system.

More Competitive Healthcare Insurance Market

Competition is the primary factor in controlling costs for healthcare insurance coverage. Under this law, Americans would be able to purchase health insurance across state lines.

In addition, small businesses would be able to join large pools where better rates are negotiated. Healthcare providers would have unprecedented access to large pools of insured people. Winning new customers would result in restraint of insurance premium rates through competition.

All Medicare claims and payment data would be made public to allow taxpayers and patients to see the costs associated with these programs. The federal government would no longer be able to deny coverage for services based on comparative effectiveness data.

Medical Liability Law Reforms

Legal costs associated with medical malpractice have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket. This law applies limits for non-economic damages and attorneys’ fees.

Economic damages will not have limits since patients should have rights to recover financial damages. Attorneys would lack encouragement to file frivolous lawsuits whenever patients suffer non-economic losses.

Additional tests are performed when doctors are afraid of missing a condition that would lead to litigation. Reforms to the awards paid would allow the doctors to focus on diagnosing the existing condition, and stop the practice of conducting non-essential medical tests.

Respect for Human Life

Under this law, healthcare plans will not be required to provide coverage for abortion procedures. Government officials will not be able to require coverage for abortions.

All federal funds will be protected against paying for abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. No state laws that provide for pro-life or conscience protection will be pre-empted.

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