Washington, DC - The "repeal and replace" movement in Congress got a shot in the arm from Congressman Dr. Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, who has introduced the Empowering Patients First Act in the House as an alternative to Obamacare.
The Georgia Congressman's proposed law is a "bold move that merits broad-based support," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens. "There's no love lost for the Affordable Care Act. Even many of those who avidly backed Obamacare when it became law in 2010 have admitted its shortcomings as its many deficiencies have come to light over the past five years. The realization has set in that it can't be fixed; it needs to be annulled. The affirmative approach that Dr. Price suggests is a rational substitute that puts doctors and patients in charge and takes politics out of the healthcare equation."
The Price bill comes just weeks away from a much awaited Supreme Court decision is expected that has the potential of causing a collapse of the Affordable Care Act. The Court will determine whether those enrolled in Obamacare through the Federal-run exchange are eligible for subsidies. If it strikes down the subsidies, the consensus is that it would deal a crippling blow to the healthcare law.
"Thus, the Empowering Patients First Act has made a timely debut," Weber said. Unlike Obamacare, the proposed new law "seeks to put patients and doctors back in control of health decisions, while making coverage more affordable and expanding access to quality care in ways that Americans deserve. This bill accomplishes these vital objectives by allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state lines and using interstate competition to drive down health costs. Small businesses would also be permitted to band together across state lines to buy insurance for their families and employees at a lower cost. Moreover, this bill incentivizes Americans - including the uninsured - to purchase coverage by providing individuals with age adjusted tax credits to those who purchase health plans through the individual market. Additionally, it would reform medical malpractice laws to reduce unnecessary costs for both doctors and patients."
Weber said that it is a comprehensive solution. "The Empowering Patients First Act also looks to safeguard individuals with pre-existing conditions by bolstering state-based high risk pools." And, he added, EPF addresses controversial moral issues. The proposal would prevent federal funding for abortions.
The AMAC chief said that "there's a lot to like here." Perhaps that is the reason the Price proposal encountered little criticism from "the usual suspects" when the bill was proposed.