Norquist: Republicans Do Have Answers to Obamacare

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Monday, 16 Dec 2013 08:44 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Claims by Democrats that Republicans have offered no alternative proposals to Obamacare are "verifiably false," say two leaders from the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform.

Writing in an op-ed piece carried by Politico, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and Patrick Gleason, the group's director of state affairs, say Republicans have put up several pieces of legislation dealing with healthcare reform.

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

The two accuse the president and Democrats of trying to shift the focus away from the fact that Obamacare is bad policy by attacking Republicans as having no policy offering of their own.

"The problem with this new accusation from President Obama and his surrogates is that it is completely, utterly and verifiably false," Norquist and Gleason write.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a physician by trade, introduced the Empowering Patients First Act in June, following up versions of the bill written in 2009 and 2011, the two note.

His new bill calls for repealing Obamacare and allowing insurance sales across state lines while allowing healthcare expense tax deductions, medical malpractice reform, and other options to reduce costs while increasing access to care.

"It’s important to move away from [a] employer-based health care system, and Price’s bill achieves this goal by providing portability, allowing coverage to be tied to an individual, not an employer, so that if workers change or lose their job, they can keep their insurance," note Norquist and Gleason.

The Price bill also allows individuals, families, and small businesses to link together to make their healthcare costs more affordable. The two point out that Price's bill would save $2.34 trillion in federal taxpayer dollars by eliminating new and higher taxes created by Obamacare, according to an estimate done by former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

Another Republican-sponsored alternative, the American Health Care Reform Act presented in September, is similar to Price's bill and also allows individuals and families to deduct healthcare expenses, Norquist and Gleason say.

"Republicans do have their own health care reform proposals," the two conclude. "In fact," they add, "they’re in bill format, posted online, and can be accessed in a fraction of the time that it takes one to unsuccessfully log on to HealthCare.gov."

Editor’s Note: New 'Obamacare Survival Guide' Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

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