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There are alternatives to Obamacare

Legislative update

POSTED: December 12, 2013 12:45 p.m.

For many of us, it’s that special time of the year — the time when you get notification for renewal from your health-care insurance provider.
 I got a letter in the mail from my provider a few weeks ago.  It contained good news, bad news and even worse news. The good news was that my existing plan had not been cancelled and was available for renewal.  The bad news was that my premiums would be increasing by 28 percent for the next year.    The even worse news was that, as a small-business owner who pays for a portion of my eligible employees’ coverage, their costs would be increasing as well, resulting in an increase in my costs as a business owner.
By now, most, if not all of us, realize that Obamacare is a train wreck.  For those of us who haven’t had our existing health-care plan cancelled, we’re experiencing staggering increases in our premiums.   
A majority of Americans agree that Obamacare should be scaled back or repealed, according to a recent Gallup poll. Or, as I like to say, Obamacare should be turned into a 3-D movie — delay it, defund it and defeat it!   
A question asked by many is whether there are any alternatives being offered. Fortunately, the answer is yes.
First of all, in September, Rep. David Roe, R-Tenn., on behalf of the House of Representatives Republican Study Committee, introduced The American Health Care Reform Act, House Resolution 3121, to repeal and replace Obamacare, saving billions in taxes.
According to the RSC, HR 3121 would spur competition among insurance companies, and therefore lower health-care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines. It also would enable small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations, resulting in lower costs.     
HR 3121 also limits trial-lawyer fees and non-economic damages by reforming medical-malpractice laws without weakening protection for patients.    
Reforming the tax code to allow a standard deduction for health insurance to be available for families and individuals just as it is for companies would level the playing field, according to HR 3121. Also under HR 3121, Health Savings Accounts would be expanded, increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars that individuals can use for health-care expenses.
State-based high-risk pools would be created and strengthened by HR 3121, allowing individuals with pre-existing conditions to purchase health insurance.
Finally, HR 3121 would ensure that no federal funding of abortions will be allowed.
Another bill proposing comprehensive health care reform is HR 2300, the Empowering Patients First Act of 2013, authored by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.
Like HR 3121, HR 2300 repeals Obamacare, allows for the purchasing of health insurance plans across state lines, and provides for the reforming of medical malpractice laws.
It also calls for tax reforms to even the playing field between individuals and small businesses and large corporations.  
HR 2300 would allow individuals to keep health care policies that are provided by their employers when they lose or change jobs.  
This portability is important since so many insured Americans have plans provided by their employers and many American workers will have many different employers in their lifetime. It would assure that individuals who like their plan can keep it and could continue to see their preferred doctors.  
Finally, HR 2300 would provide Americans with a number of incentives such as deductions, tax credits, refundable tax credits and advanceable refundable tax credits to purchase policies as opposed to the penalties imposed by Obamacare.
Yes, there are alternatives such as HR 3121 and HR 2300 that will provide Americans with health-care insurance, reduce costs, save taxpayers money and improve the greatest health care system in the world.         

Carter can be reached at  404-656-5109.

 

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