H.R. 2520; Another Republican Healthcare Bill You Will Never Hear About

H.R. 2520; Another Republican Healthcare Bill You Will Never Hear About

Alan-Grayson-D-FLAlan Grayson is too stupid to serve the American people.  According to Grayson (D-FL), the republicans have no healthcare reform bills being put forward.  He has stated that their plan is to have Americans “die quickly” if they get sick.  Which means, that Grayson is either lying about the republicans, or he is too stupid to know that there are at least two bills in committee that are much more palatable, and tremendously less expensive than the government-run public option that Nancy and the liberals dems are trying to cram down our throats with it’s un-Constitutional mandates, fines, and/or jail time for non-compliance.  You will just NEVER hear about them outside of best kept secrets like this little blog.

The first was H.R. 3438 sponsored by Darrell Issa (R-CA), and now I just heard about H.R. 2520 from Wisconsin republican, Paul Ryan.

H.R. 2520; The Patients’ Choice Act

To meet this challenge, I have proposed an alternative approach to reforming our health care system. My bill, the Patients’ Choice Act, would put patients and doctors in control of health care decisions. It fundamentally changes the mechanics of Medicaid while strengthening the promise of health care and security for all Americans. Under my proposal, discriminatory tax rules would be reformed, ensuring that everyone gets the same tax benefits for the purchase of health care regardless of where they obtain that care. Every American receives an advanceable, refundable tax credit with which to purchase portable health insurance. We continue to encourage businesses to offer health insurance by allowing the current tax incentives for businesses to remain intact. So if you like what you have, you can keep it – but it will be your decision.

Preventing Disease and Promoting Healthier Lifestyles. Each year, five chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes) cause two/thirds of American deaths; treatment of these largely preventable diseases makes up 75 percent of total health care expenditures. Critical investments in public health and disease prevention will go a long way in restraining health care costs and improving the quality of Americans’ lives.

Creating Affordable and Accessible Health Insurance Options. Our health care system should be easier to navigate and provide integrated care in a more equitable manner. A vibrant market for health insurance that is consistent and fair will allow all Americans access to health coverage. The Patient’s Choice Act of 2009 would encourage states to establish rational and reasonable consumer protections, including the following:

  • Creates State Health Insurance Exchanges to give Americans a one-stop marketplace to compare different health insurance policies and select the one that meets their unique needs

  • Gives Americans the same standard health benefits as Members of Congress, so all Americans have a wide range of choices

  • Protects the most vulnerable Americans to ensure that no individual would be turned down by a participating Exchange insurers based on age or health

  • Creates a non-profit, independent board to risk adjust among participating insurance companies to penalize companies that “cherry pick” health patients and reward insurers that encourage prevention/wellness and cover patients with pre-existing conditions

  • Helps States expand coverage through auto-enrollment at state and medical points of service, for individuals who do not select a plan at the beginning of the year

  • Gives states the ability to band together in regional pooling arrangements, as well as the creation of robust high risk pools, reinsurance markets, or risk adjustment mechanisms to cover those deemed ‘uninsurable’

Equalizes the Tax Treatment of Health Care, Empowering All Americans with Real Access to Coverage. Economic analysts across the political divide agree that the tax code is stacked in favor of the wealthy and those who get their health coverage through their employers, discriminating against the self-employed, the unemployed, and small businesses. The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 would restore fairness in the tax code and give every American, regardless of employment status, the ability to purchase health insurance by:

  • Providing an advanceable and refundable tax credit of $2,300 per individual or $5,700 per family

  • Improving the operation of Health Savings Accounts [HSAs] by allowing health insurance premiums to be paid with HSAs without a tax penalty

  • Allowing preventative services to be covered by High Deductible Health Plans

  • Increasing the amount of money an HSA owner may annually contribute to their account

Modernizing the Medicaid Benefit and Protecting Medicare Beneficiary Choice. The health security for low-income families and American seniors is threatened by the outdated formulas and exploding costs of Medicaid and Medicare. These vital programs require significant reforms to better balance value for those beneficiaries in greatest need and protection for U.S. taxpayers. The Patients’ Choice Act would make important improvements to both programs without limiting eligibility or benefits by:

  • Integrating low-income families with dependent children into higher‐quality private plans through direct assistance

  • Removing the stigma of Medicaid and providing access to the same coverage options available to all Americans

  • Realigning responsibility between federal and state governments in order to better coordinate benefits by requiring the Medicare program to assume Medicaid responsibility of premiums, cost-sharing, and deductibles for low-income seniors

  • Rebalancing long-term care services to ensure choice between institutionalized and home-based care

  • Empowering Medicare beneficiaries with more choices and more power by reforming Medicare Advantage

  • Allowing for the creation of Medicare Accountable Care Organizations that would improve payment to physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, and nurses for demonstrable improvements in quality and patient satisfaction while reducing costs

  • Requiring wealthy Medicare beneficiaries to contribute a little more for their care under Medicare Part D

Establishing Transparency in Health Care Price and Quality. For a vibrant health care market to function properly, patients must know what services cost and who provides the best service. Uniform and reliable measures of reporting quality and price information should be designed by the stakeholders in health care rather than the heavy-hand of government. The Patients’ Choice Act would bring this much needed transparency into the health care market by:

  • Empowering the private sector – rather than Washington bureaucrats – to set standards on price and quality with the input from all major stakeholders in health care, as well as the general public

  • Ensuring that measures of effectiveness keep pace with innovation

For those that would like to read the actual bill at GovTrack; go here.

So Florida; are you going to fire this lying/and/or/stupid POS next time around for the sheer insult to our intelligence?

The Health Care Bill You Will NEVER Hear About, H.R. 3438

For all of those out there that are screaming that we need a government run health care plan or a single payer public option, here is the bill you will never hear about because it is VERY SIMPLE; our non-reps. would be able to read it without even requiring a lawyer or a bathroom break, and holy bejesus Batman, it makes complete sense.  If you are not covered by Social Security, you would be able to enroll in the federal employees’ health care program and your premiums would be deductible on your taxes.  Unfortunately for us, it was written and co-sponsored by republicans, so it does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting out of committee.  I must admit that California Representative Darrell Issa is starting to grow on me after his committee’s report about Acorn and this bill.  You may want to tell your family and friends that there is a great bill out there!  (Once again, bold emphasis is mine.)

From Govtrack:

H.R. 3438: Access to Insurance for all Americans Act

HR 3438 IH

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3438

To amend title 5, United States Code, to establish a national health program administered by the Office of Personnel Management to offer Federal employee health benefits plans to individuals who are not Federal employees, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 31, 2009

Mr. ISSA introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To amend title 5, United States Code, to establish a national health program administered by the Office of Personnel Management to offer Federal employee health benefits plans to individuals who are not Federal employees, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Access to Insurance for all Americans Act’.

SEC. 2. EXTENSION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE.

(a) In General- Subpart G of part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended–

(1) by redesignating chapters 89A and 89B as chapters 89B and 89C, respectively; and

(2) by inserting after chapter 89 the following:

‘CHAPTER 89A–HEALTH INSURANCE FOR NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

‘SEC. 8921. DEFINITIONS.

‘In this chapter–

‘(1) the terms defined under section 8901 shall have the meanings given such terms under that section; and

‘(2) the term ‘Office’ means the Office of Personnel Management.

‘SEC. 8922. HEALTH INSURANCE FOR NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

‘(a) The Office shall administer a health insurance program for non-Federal employees in accordance with this chapter.

‘(b) Except as provided under this chapter, the Office shall prescribe regulations to apply the provisions of chapter 89 to the greatest extent practicable to eligible individuals covered under this chapter.

‘SEC. 8923. CONTRACT REQUIREMENT.

‘(a) For each calendar year, the Office shall enter into a contract with 1 or more carriers to make available 1 or more health benefits plans (subject to the provisions of this chapter) to eligible individuals under this chapter.

‘(b) In carrying out this section, the Office may require 1 or more carriers to enter into a contract described in subsection (a), as a condition of entering into a contract under section 8902.

‘SEC. 8924. ELIGIBILITY OF NON-FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

‘(a) Except as provided under subsection (b), any individual may enroll in a health benefits plan under this section.

‘(b) An individual may not enroll in a health benefits plan under this chapter if the individual–

‘(1) is enrolled or eligible to enroll for coverage under a public health insurance program, including–

‘(A) title XVIII of the Social Security Act;

‘(B) a State plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act;

‘(C) a State plan under title XX of the Social Security Act; or

‘(D) any other program determined by the Office;

‘(2) is enrolled or eligible to enroll in a plan under chapter 89; or

‘(3) is a member of the uniformed services as defined under section 101(a)(5) of title 10.

‘SEC. 8925. ALTERNATIVE CONDITIONS TO FEDERAL EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS PLANS.

‘(a) Rates charged and premiums paid for a health benefits plan under this chapter may differ between or among geographic regions.

‘(b) No Government contribution shall be made for any individual under this chapter.

‘(c) In the administration of this chapter, the Office shall ensure that individuals covered under this chapter shall be in a risk pool that is separate from the risk pool maintained for individuals covered under chapter 89.’.

(b) Technical and Conforming Amendments-

(1) CONTRACT REQUIREMENT UNDER CHAPTER 89- Section 8902 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after subsection (o) the following:

‘(p) Any contract under this chapter may include, at the discretion of the Office, a provision that the carrier shall enter into a contract to provide 1 or more health benefits plans as described under chapter 89A.’.

(2) TABLE OF CHAPTERS- The table of chapters for part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended–

(A) by redesignating the items relating to chapters 89A and 89B as chapters 89B and 89C, respectively; and

(B) by inserting after the item relating to chapter 89 the following:

8921’.

SEC. 3. DEDUCTION FOR PREMIUMS PAID BY FEHBP NON-EMPLOYEE ENROLLEES.

(a) In General- Part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to additional itemized deductions) is amended by redesignating section 224 as section 225 and by inserting after section 223 the following new section:

‘SEC. 224. PREMIUMS PAID FOR FEHBP COVERAGE.

‘(a) In General- In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction an amount equal to the amount paid as premiums during the taxable year for coverage for the taxpayer, his spouse, and dependents under health insurance provided pursuant to chapter 89A of title 5, United States Code.

‘(b) Special Rules-

‘(1) COORDINATION WITH MEDICAL DEDUCTION, ETC- Any amount paid by a taxpayer for insurance to which subsection (a) applies shall not be taken into account in computing the amount allowable to the taxpayer as a deduction under section 162(l) or 213(a). Any amount taken into account in determining the credit allowed under section 35 shall not be taken into account for purposes of this section.

‘(2) DEDUCTION NOT ALLOWED FOR SELF-EMPLOYMENT TAX PURPOSES- The deduction allowable by reason of this section shall not be taken into account in determining an individual’s net earnings from self-employment (within the meaning of section 1402(a)) for purposes of chapter 2.’.

(b) Deduction Allowed in Computing Adjusted Gross Income- Subsection (a) of section 62 of such Code is amended by inserting before the last sentence the following new paragraph:

‘(22) PREMIUMS PAID FOR FEHBP COVERAGE- The deduction allowed by section 224.’.

(c) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by redesignating the item relating to section 224 as an item relating to section 225 and inserting before such item the following new item:

‘Sec. 224. Premiums paid for FEHBP coverage.’.

(d) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years ending after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. PLAN FOR EXTENSION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM.

Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act and after consultation with appropriate experts, representatives of affected individuals, and Federal officers, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall submit a comprehensive plan to Congress that–

(1) provides for the orderly implementation of the amendments made by this Act; and

(2) includes a schedule of actions to be taken to provide for that implementation.

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