Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch says the new Republican healthcare bill he is co-sponsoring will cost less than the Affordable Care Act and not force "cherry-picked" medical care on all Americans to pay for the more serious health issues of senior citizens.
Hatch, who wrote the Patient Choice Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment — or CARE — Act with fellow Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Richard Burr of North Carolina, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Tuesday on Newsmax TV that there are "four simple principles" to the legislation.
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"Repeal Obamacare with all its costly mandates, taxes, and regulations, and . . . reduce costs by taking the government out of the equation and instead empowering consumers to make choices about their own healthcare," he said.
"We provide common-sense consumer protections to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, and . . . we think you have to reform our broken Medicaid system by giving states more flexibility to provide the best coverage for their citizens."
Hatch said he is confident that what many are calling the "legislative blueprint" for the GOP's alternative to Obamacare can succeed "without adding one red cent" to the nation's $17 trillion debt.
Hatch says the biggest barrier to obtaining healthcare in the United States is its skyrocketing costs.
"Most people are having trouble affording to buy insurance or even see a doctor, and why? Because of the high costs," Hatch said.
"Our plan will give people affordable options that meet their needs. We would harness the power of the marketplace not through Washington-directed mandates. We basically would allow the states to manage this approach.
"We would give more options in the private insurance marketplace, particularly in the small-group and individual markets. On top of great consumer protections, the more transparency, people would be better able to purchase the coverage that's right for them."
Hatch said the failings of the ACA pointed out the importance of choice.
"Obamacare's struggling to sign up young people who just need a health plan that's affordable instead of one that includes coverage they'll never use and one where they're cherry-picked to pay for more senior people with more problems," he said.
"Take a 25-year-old auto mechanic, for example. He just wants catastrophic coverage because he's probably not going to be sick for quite a while. He doesn't want a plan that includes maternity care. I mean, come on.
"We need to give people those options to allow them to find the coverage that best meets their needs, and this deal does. We provide significant common-sense consumer protections like making sure that a person can't have their coverage canceled if they get sick. We also help patients with pre-existing conditions."
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