Benefits & Compensation News

Meet Republicans’ answer to Obamacare

House Republicans won’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to repealing Obamacare.

Since the passage of President Obama’s signature health law, Republicans in the House of Representatives have passed numerous bills calling for the law to be repealed. But those bills have hit a brick wall in the Democrat-controlled Senate, which has vowed to shoot down any law the House sends its way asking to peel back or defund Obamacare.

A common rallying cry of the Democrats: House Republicans want to repeal the law but have offered up no suitable alternative.

In response to that, the House’s Republican Study Committee just introduced the GOP’s alternative to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

It’s called The American Health Care Reform Act.

What it looks like

The bill, which is sure to pass the House should it come up for a vote, contains a number of proposals Republicans have long hailed for their ability to hold down health care costs.

Here’s what the law would do:

  • Fully repeal the PPACA
  • Allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines in an attempt to spur competition
  • Enable small businesses to pool together to increase their bargaining power with insurance companies in an effort to give them the same buying power as large corporations
  • Provide a standard tax deduction to help with the purchase of insurance ($7,500 for individuals and $20,000 for families), which can be applied to employer-sponsored insurance or the purchase of coverage in the individual or small group market
  • Eliminate the tax exclusion for employer provided health coverage (replacing it with the deduction mentioned above)
  • Expand access to health savings accounts and increase the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into them
  • Reform medical malpractice laws to cap non-economic damages and attorneys’ fees, and
  • Help prevent individuals with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage by bolstering state-based high-risk pools by funding them with $25 billion over 10 years and capping premiums in the pools at 200% of the average premium in the state.

What happens next

Despite the appeal this bill would surely have in the House, it stands almost no chance of making it through the Senate — at least as the Senate’s presently constructed.

Some feel the bill’s prospects may change should Republicans gain more seats in the Senate in the 2014 election. However, as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House, any bill that repeals Obamacare that passes Congress is likely to get vetoed.

Still, should Republicans gain control of Capital Hill anytime in the near future (perhaps in the 2016 presidential election), this is likely an early glimpse at what their stance on health reform will be.

In the meantime, expect House Republicans to continue to offer up legislation to repeal Obamacare in an attempt to force Democrats to publicly back what the GOP feels is an unpopular law among voters.

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  • marcuscudd

    But this would kill the Dem dreams of single-payer……