Instruct your reps. The hardwired message to Congress for this campaign reads...
Sponsor Senator Rand Paul’s “Obamacare Replacement Act” (S. 222).
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I love Rand Paul’s plan. It would...
* Provide a two-year buffer period in which people with pre-existing conditions (PEC) could still get coverage. That would allow time for the market to solve the PEC problem in other ways (as described below).
* Make the cost of individual insurance tax-deductible. This would give individual policies the same tax treatment as employer provided policies. Most likely, the number of individually owned policies would expand. With more people owning their own policy, the PEC problem would plummet. PEC is mostly a politician-created problem that happens when people get sick after losing their job (and therefore their insurance).
* Give citizens a tax-credit of up to $5,000 for contributions to an HSA (Health Savings Account).
* Eliminate the ceiling on HSA contributions.
* Remove the stipulation that you must have a high-deductible healthcare plan in order to have an HSA.
* Allow citizens to use HSA funds for insurance premiums.
* Expand the number of things HSA funds could be used for, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements, plus nutrition and exercise programs. One of the great flaws of Obamacare is that it does nothing to preserve health and prevent disease. Doing so would lower the burden on the medical system. Healthier people don't need as much medical care.
* Allow citizens to band together to lower the cost of buying insurance. Individual Health Pools (IHPs) would give persons the same bargaining power that employer insurance groups currently have. The IHPs could include churches, alumni associations, trade associations, civic groups, or entities formed strictly for establishing an IHP, as long as there is no health status requirement for membership. This provision would dramatically reduce the PEC problem.
* Allow physicians to band together to gain bargaining power with insurers, without having to concentrate into big impersonal medical firms.
* Allow doctors to deduct the expense of the uncompensated care they provide, thereby making pro bono services, free clinics, and true charity hospitals more plentiful.
* Allow insurance providers to sell policies nationally. This would remove the cartel control that the insurance industry currently maintains through state legislatures. This would also restore the market for major medical plans. Not only are major medical plans the way insurance is supposed to work, they are also a way to make insurance more affordable and attractive to young healthy people. This is important because it’s mostly the young who lack coverage. Obamacare used force to require young people to buy expensive plans. But Rand Paul’s plan will attract them by offering them a good deal, without using force.
* Give states flexibility in how they design and manage their Medicaid programs. This would enable experimentation and competition between the 50 states. It would also allow the states to innovate new ways to address the PEC problem.
In short, I think Rand Paul’s bill should become the official Republican bill. Do it.
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