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Tags: John Kline | Paul Ryan | Fred Upton | healthcare | alternative | court

GOP Reps. Kline, Ryan and Upton Propose Alternative to Obamacare

GOP Reps. Kline, Ryan and Upton Propose Alternative to Obamacare
(Reps.: John Kline, R-Minn., Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Fred Upton, R-Mich. (mct/Landov; Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images; John Gress/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 March 2015 08:28 AM EST

If the government loses the Supreme Court case challenging the legality of Obamacare subsidies, health insurance will become unaffordable for many Americans, and a patient-centered alternative should be enacted, said GOP Reps. John Kline of Minnesota, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Fred Upton of Michigan.

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the chairmen of the House committees on Education and Workforce, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce, respectively, pointed out that the Affordable Care Act stated that only those enrolled in state exchanges were entitled to subsidies.

In the event that the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell win, millions of people who bought plans on the federal exchange will find they have insurance bills they cannot afford.

"The Supreme Court should tell the IRS to enforce the law as written — not as the administration wishes it had been written," the congressmen wrote in support of the challenge by King.

"But the question is: Then what? What about the people who will lose their subsidies — and possibly their coverage? No family should pay for this administration's overreach."

The lawmakers said that was reason for the establishment of a working group by House Republicans — to propose a way forward for the states that would be effective if the administration loses the court case.

"What we will propose is an off-ramp out of ObamaCare toward patient-centered health care. It has two parts: First, make insurance more affordable by ending Washington mandates and giving choice back to states, individuals and families. And second, support Americans in purchasing the coverage of their choosing," they said.

First, they said they would make coverage more affordable by allowing any state to opt out of Obamacare's insurance mandates. The coverage requirements are driving up costs and preventing individuals and families to select from a wider range of plans, they said.

"Our proposal will also allow participating states to opt out of ObamaCare's burdensome individual and employer mandates, allowing Americans to purchase the coverage they want."

They said they would also force insurers to compete for business rather than limit choices to government-approved health plans. It will lower costs and raise quality across the board, they said.

At the same time, they said they would enact a set of safeguards for patients. Specifically, consumers would allow parents to keep children on their plan until age 26, prohibit insurers from imposing lifetime limits on benefits, and protect people with existing conditions, among other things.

The second part of their plan would help people buy coverage by offering a tax credit to purchase insurance. The credit would be available at any time during the tax season.

"This is a common-sense path — but many members of Congress have proposed a lot of good ideas that deserve further consideration. For example, some have suggested giving states more flexibility to design their own solutions.

"Yet when House and Senate Republicans discuss this issue, we find that there is a great deal of consensus. We all want to take power away from Washington," the congressmen wrote.

"So here's the bottom line: Under ObamaCare, government controls your choices. Under our proposal, you will. You'll get to pick a plan that works for you.

"We look forward to building upon these ideas and working with our colleagues in the House and Senate, health-care experts and, most important, the American people, to put high-quality, affordable coverage within closer reach for all. And we'll do it by putting Americans, not Washington, in the driver's seat."

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Republican Reps. John Kline, Paul Ryan and Fred Upton, writing in the Wall Street Journal, offer what they call a patient-centered alternative to Obamacare in case the government loses the Supreme Court case challenging the legality of its subsidies.
John Kline, Paul Ryan, Fred Upton, healthcare, alternative, court
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 08:28 AM
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