(CitizensOutpost) With controversy and infighting occurring between the Republican party and scrutiny over Paul Ryan’s American Healthcare Act (AHCA), Rand Paul (R-KY) has sponsored a Senate Bill that was introduced in January of this year that provides an alternative that will eliminate most elements of Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) including:
- Employer mandate
- Individual mandate
- Medicaid expansion
- Birth control madate
- State line limitations
Pre-existing conditions would still be limited as previously regulated in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), but would no longer be outright banned as prescribed in the current ACA.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) would be encouraged an incentivized through tax credits.
According to GovTrack.us, supporters are saying:
[…]that the bill will save money on the expensive and bankrupting health care system while increasing personal freedom.
“Getting government out of the American people’s way and putting them back in charge of their own health care decisions will deliver a strong, efficient system that doesn’t force them to empty out their pockets to cover their medical bills,” Sen. Paul said in a press release. “There is no excuse for waiting to craft an alternative until after we repeal Obamacare, and the Obamacare Replacement Act charts a new path forward that will insure the most people possible at the lowest price.”
But there are also spending issues being raised by opponents:
Conservative analyst Christopher Jacobs, writing for The Federalist, identifies several portions of Paul’s bill that conservatives should oppose. Though the legislation repeals much of the ACA, what it leaves intact nevertheless amounts to approximately $2 trillion in spending over the next decade. It also creates new uncapped deductions for individual-provided health insurance, a tax cut equivalent that could explode the budget deficit.
Paul, for what it’s worth, criticized the Patient Freedom Act proposal for allowing too much of the Affordable Care to survive, albeit on a state level instead of a federal level.
With such a complicated issue as health care, it is good to see more options are being explored and it would behoove Americans and the President to make note of these alternatives and bring everything to a discussion table.
Photo by Gage Skidmore