Nonsequitur: Replacements for Obamacare?

September 22, 2014

The President and supporters like to chide critics calling for repeal and replace with a loaded question – With what? They claim that now that the law is “implemented,” it would be too difficult to eliminate it without a working option, and no such option exists. This is a false claim. There are already multiple options to replace the ACA once it is repealed.

The Patient Care Act (PCA) is a legislative alternative recently offered by Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). It covers as least as many patients as the ACA while significantly reducing deficits by an estimated $850 billion to $1.5 trillion. You can read an overview of this proposal here.

The 2017 Project’s “Winning Alternative to Obamacare” is an independent alternative to replace a repealed ACA. Based on scoring by the nonpartisan Center for Health and Economy (H&E), this plan would INCREASE the number of patients covered by 6 million, decrease the deficit by $1.13 trillion, and lower insurance premiums. You can read a summary of this plan here.

An older, less formal alternative was offered prior to the implementation of the ACA. In the 1991 book, “Patient Power,” John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), proposed the use of HSA’s, or Health Savings Accounts, to expand patient control over both the costs and quality of healthcare. US Congressman Paul Ryan used this as a foundation for his “Patients’ Choice Act,” proposed in 2009. Ryan’s approach combines HSA’s with reforms to Medicaid, Medicare and the tax code to reduce health care costs and increase choices for patients. You can read his proposal here.

Of course, if Obamacare is not repealed, it may end up being replaced anyway. Increased premiums and other costs are making employers much less willing to offer health care insurance to their employees. More workers are being referred back to the state and federal exchanges. Unless the cost curve changes, which it shows no sign of doing, Democrats may get the single-payer, government controlled health care system (like Canada’s or Great Britain’s) that the Left so admires.

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