21 Feb 2017

A Look at the New Patient Freedom Act

A Look at the New Patient Freedom Act

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy and Maine Sen. Susan Collins recently unveiled a possible replacement for Obamacare called the Patient Freedom Act.

Under this bill, each state would have the freedom to choose between keeping the ACA or opting for another plan. This new plan would enable residents to automatically cover those who are uninsured in a high-deductible plan.

This proposal will repeal some of the mandates set by the Affordable Care Act such as requiring employers and individuals to purchase health insurance. On the other hand, it would also retain the law’s most popular features such as prohibiting insurance providers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions and allowing children to be covered under their parents’ insurance plans until they reach the age of 26.

Senator Collins introduced the 2017 Patient Freedom Act together with fellow Republican senator and physician, Bill Cassidy.

According to the proposal, states that want to keep Obamacare in its entirety can do so, while those who want to opt out can choose a different plan. This plan will provide a uniform tax credit which is linked to resident HSA’s so that they can afford a health insurance plan, albeit one that is less comprehensive.

The proposed legislation has not yet been officially presented by the two senators so we have yet to determine most of its details.

According to Sen. Cassidy, they decided to keep Obamacare as an option in a bid to convince the Democrats in the Senate to side with them. They will need at least 60 votes to pass the legislation. To achieve this, there should be at least 8 Democrats who will vote for it.

Currently, a few senators have voiced out their opinions regarding the plan. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was not particularly impressed and said that the proposal could “create chaos” and suggests that Republicans should work with Democrats to improve the current legislation.

The proposal is just one of the many GOP options that will be debated in the foreseeable future. Hopefully, the Republicans will also invite their colleagues from the Democratic party to brainstorm ideas in order to arrive at a much better replacement for Obamacare.

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