Saturday, October 10, 2009

Where Is The GOP Healthcare Proposal?

Numerous articles and commentaries examined and dissected the Democratic health proposals. But this article on asks the question "Where is the GOP proposals?" Here is the answer.

Elements of GOP plans include:

• Tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance on their own.

• Incentives for states and small businesses to band together and offer health insurance at lower costs.

• Tort reform to reduce costly "defensive medicine."

• Incentives to save through health savings accounts.

• Incentives to promote prevention and wellness.

• Reforms to end discrimination on the basis of preexisting conditions.

• Breaking down barriers to purchasing health insurance across state lines.

"Why don't we put forward our own 1,000-page bill? Because then with one vote they can defeat it," says Sen. Michael Enzi (R) of Wyoming, a member of the two panels that worked on healthcare legislation – the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the Finance Committee.

GOP's healthcare vision: light on mandates

What GOP plans have in common are elements to increase competition and defend against government deciding terms of healthcare or insurance.

"You ought to be able to pick your plan as opposed to having Congress dictate," Senator Enzi adds, noting that Massachusetts – which requires universal healthcare – has 1,200 mandates; Wyoming has 23.

"Congress is going to say what the minimum insurance is that you have and if you don't like it you pay a fine, and if you don't pay the fine you go to jail," he says.

Amendments ignored

As congressional panels drafted bills, Republicans also proposed hundreds of amendments, most of which were rejected.

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