A number of proposals have been floated by the Republicans in Washington to repeal and "replace" Obamacare. Most of them are pretty bad. But Rand Paul has made a proposal that seems to be the best among them; and it has secured the approval of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, of which I am a member. Here is the group's analysis:
A number of proposed Republican replacements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) are circulating, but the best one seems to be getting the least attention, according to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Sen. Rand Paul, M.D., (R-KY) has proposed a plan that “focuses on helping people obtain insurance that suits their needs, rather than forcing them into costly comprehensive products that they neither need nor want,” states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.
“It also avoids the serious pitfalls in other proposals.”
“Dr. Paul recognizes that the system uses the tax code to discriminate against Americans who can’t get health coverage through their employer,” Dr. Orient states. “His plan greatly expands the use of health savings accounts (HSAs).”
“Unlike other Republican plans, the Paul tax credit is a real tax credit, not a disguised subsidy deceptively called a ‘refundable tax credit’ that goes to people who don’t owe taxes,” she explains. “And unlike an income-tax deduction, which primarily helps high earners, it benefits low earners as well because it excludes earnings used to purchase health insurance from the payroll tax.”
“The payroll tax is the biggest tax that low earners pay. It takes 15 percent of workers’ earnings, as the employer’s ‘share’ also comes out of the workers’ earnings,” she states. “Those who have employer-owned health insurance already get it excluded from payroll tax—why shouldn’t everyone?”
Individual policies are generally much more costly than group plans, but the only group plans widely available today are through employers. The Paul plan allows the formation of Individual Health Pools through a wide variety of associations so that people without health insurance job benefits can have access to group coverage, Dr. Orient points out.
Unlike the Cassidy/Sessions proposal, the Paul proposal does not plan to “keep” the hypothetical revenue that ObamaCare taxes are supposed to generate, in order to redistribute the wealth in a different way, Dr. Orient observes.
“There is broad agreement on the principles in the Paul proposal,” Dr. Orient concluded. “The lack of attention is puzzling."