Tags: shadegg | healthcare | plan

Rep. Shadegg Unveils New Healthcare Plan

By Jim Meyers   |   Friday, 31 Jul 2009 07:00 PM

Rep. John Shadegg tells Newsmax he is promoting a Republican alternative to President Barack Obama and the Democrats' "takeover of the healthcare system."

The Arizona Republican, who was first elected in 1994, is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Health.

He told Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter about the plan, the Improving Healthcare for All Americans Act.

See Video: Rep. John Shadegg unveils his healthcare reform plan - Click Here Now

"It is the new-think reform that I think the president promised but we're not getting," Shadegg said.

"What we're getting is a top-down, bureaucrat-heavy, mandate-heavy, bureaucrats ordering people around, fines and penalties proposal, with a massive new bureaucracy to enforce it from Washington.

"It's a takeover of the healthcare system. What the Improving Healthcare for All Americans Act says is, let's do it the other way around. Let's let people make this reform from the bottom up.

"How do we do that? For everyone who has a preexisting condition or a chronic illness, what we'll do is create a high-risk pool where they can go and buy insurance at about the same cost a healthy person who didn't have that preexisting condition would pay. That solves their problem.

"Then for other Americans who don't have enough money to buy health insurance and are currently uninsured, we provide them with financial assistance to buy a plan of their choosing.

"Then for all the rest of us, most of whom get our healthcare through our employer, we say that the idea of having your employer pick your plan, and you're locking into the plan they pick, is not a great way to structure healthcare."

Instead, Shadegg says, under the plan he is promoting "if you employer offers you a plan that you like, fine, keep it. But if your employer is offering you a plan that you're not that crazy about, or more importantly you're not being offered a plan at all, you can go out and at the same tax-preferred basis as your employer buy your own plan, and you get to buy it with pretax dollars.

"That means the cost of the plan will be at least 30 percent and perhaps 40 percent lower than it would be right now."

Shadegg says the plan would cost half as much as the Democrats' proposal, and would include portability: "If the insurance is yours and you leave your employer, you take it with you."

Walter asked if Shadegg is "optimistic" that Democrats will adopt some aspects of the Improving Healthcare for All Americans Act.

"Quite frankly the Democrats don't want to go that way," he responded.

"They want a big-government solution. I think to some degree many of them want dependence on the government.

"They only thing they can see is, we hate for-profit insurance companies. They must necessarily be evil. Or maybe they think all for-profit companies are evil.

"They've shown no interest in a bottom-up reform that is patient-centered and that empowers patients. They want a top-down bureaucratic solution."

Shadegg also said Obama is "misleading Americans" when he says under the Democratic plan they can keep their current plan if they like it, "because every plan has to change within five years."

Asked what he sees as the "end result" of the current healthcare debate, Shadegg said that if Americans "rise up" against the Democratic plan, it will be defeated — "or else Obama and [Nancy] Pelosi will have their way."

See Video: Rep. John Shadegg unveils his healthcare reform plan - Click Here Now

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