GOP crafts health care alternative
High risk, savings accounts key to plan
House Republican leaders are adopting an agreed-upon conservative approach to fixing the nation’s health care system, in part to draw an election-year contrast with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The plan includes an expansion of high-risk insurance pools, promotion of health savings accounts and inducements for small businesses to purchase coverage together.
The tenets of the plan –which could expand to include the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, guaranteed renewability of policies and changes to medical-malpractice regulations – are ideas that various conservatives have for a long time backed as part of broader bills.
But this is the first time this year that House leaders will put their full force behind a single set of principles from those bills and present it as their vision.
This month, House leaders will begin to share a memo with members outlining the plan, called “A Stronger Health Care System: The GOP Plan for Freedom, Flexibility, & Peace of Mind,” with suggestions on how Republicans should talk about it to their constituents.
“We’ve got to get to where you can compare the two perspectives, Republican and Democrat,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, said in an interview. “We’ve got all of these bills out there, so we’re going to take this core of policies and grow from there.”
Democrats dismissed the Republican approach as a purely political gesture ahead of this year’s midterm elections.