Senator Cruz Rolls Out ObamaCare Alternative

Wisely, this plan looks to be taking the best of all the Conservative ideas and putting them together

(The Hill) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday offered the latest in a series of Republican ObamaCare alternatives ahead of a Supreme Court ruling that could gut the law.

Cruz’s bill, called the Health Care Choices Act, would allow people to buy health insurance across state lines, long a Republican health policy goal. It would also repeal Title I of ObamaCare, which would undo much of the law, including the mandate to buy insurance, the insurance marketplaces and subsidies to help people afford coverage.

Republicans are looking to show that they have a plan ready if the Court strikes down subsidies for around 7.5 million people in the roughly three dozen states using federally-run marketplaces. The Court will hear arguments in the case, King v. Burwell, on Wednesday.

The Obama administration insists that it does not have a contingency plan and that it will prevail in Court.

“The administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare for an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could leave millions of Americans unable to afford insurance thanks to this failed law,” Cruz said in a statement. “Republicans must offer the American people alternatives that lower costs and break the status quo that favors big government and big health care business over hardworking Americans.”

The problem from Republicans is not that they do not have an alternative to Ocare: it’s that they have many, many plans to replace Ocare.

The plan joins a variety of recent GOP proposals. Three top Republicans have proposed a plan to provide financial assistance to let people temporarily keep their ObamaCare plans while a more state-based solution is worked out.

Meanwhile, three House Republican chairmen have proposed another plan, which would provide tax credits to help people buy insurance, while allowing states to opt out of ObamaCare’s mandates.

Cruz’s plan is the most detailed, in that he has provided legislative text. The other plans are not yet formal legislation and have only been outlined in op-eds. Questions such as the size of the tax credits remain on the House chairmen’s plan.

His plan is 31 pages long, and even includes something Ocare doesn’t: a severability clause. Cruz notes

“Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed,” said Sen. Cruz. “And while we continue that fight, we must also send bill after bill to the President’s desk to stop its harmful effects. The Health Care Choice Act will reduce costs, force insurers to compete for business and empower consumers to choose a health plan that meets their needs.

“This bill is a true market-based reform that will make health insurance more personal and affordable, giving consumers the freedom to select plans that fit their needs, anywhere from Alaska to Texas to Vermont.”

Reading the plan, it focuses on health insurance, on creating that competition, making it truly affordable, rather than on involving the Central Government in all aspects of health care. On interesting part is the requirement for insurance carriers/providers to offer clear and concise language within their policies and policy offers.

Personally, I would recommend including the so-called “popular idea” of Ocare, namely things like no cancellations for getting sick, no turn downs when applying, and allowing “kids” to stay on parents insurance till 26 years old. Also, provide a way for insurance carriers/agents to create large pools over state lines, which would certainly help with bringing down costs, as there would be huge pools of non-sick people to cover those who are sick. These would make the legislation popular with Americans.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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