The Republican Study Committee (RSC) recently released their plan to reform health care called “A Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care”. The plan starts out with a review of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and includes personal stories shared by everyday Americans stressing how the law that promised to protect them in reality, failed them.
The RSC’s plan includes coverage for preexisting conditions by utilizing the Health Care Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPPA) framework to extend this coverage to the individual market. It also uses federal funding for states to design and administer Guaranteed Coverage Pools to provide affordable coverage for people with high-cost health care needs. The RSC plan also creates true health care portability to ensure Americans may continuously carry their preferred plan and reduces the risk of being caught between coverages while potentially developing a significant medical condition.
The RSC plan empowers Americans to use more of their Health Savings Account (HSA) money, tax-free, to cover expanded health-related expenses including paying for insurance premiums, direct primary care membership fees and health sharing ministry dues. The HSA maximum contribution will be significantly expanded from $3500 to $9000 for individuals and $7000 to $18000 per family. HSAs would be allowed to be used for purchasing over-the-counter medicines alongside flexible savings accounts.
Furthermore, HSAs would become pro-life as they would not be unintentionally manipulated to subsidize abortion procedures. The RSC’s proposal would safeguard against funds being used for plans that provide abortions, nor would abortions or abortion drugs be an eligible expense.
The plan supports and codifies the Trump Administration’s rules regarding Association Health Plans, Short-Term, Limited-Duration insurance plans (STLDI) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) which were all designed to reduce costs and provide consumers with multiple choices for their health care.
AMAC applauds this effort by the Republican Study Committee, particularly the significant expansion of the funding and use of HSAs. The plan recognizes free-market health care alternatives like direct primary care, health sharing ministries and telemedicine and works to increase access to these innovations. While AMAC prefers the use of private-sector dollars combined with oversight from the states to fund high risk pools as an alternative to using federal funds, we acknowledge that the RSC’s plan creates an environment that promotes choice, lowers costs and puts Americans in charge of their health care.
Andrew Mangione is Senior Vice President for AMAC’s advocacy affiliate, AMAC Action. He leads AMAC’s grassroots efforts, represents AMAC’s membership in Washington, D.C., and helps chart the association’s policy course. He also serves as a national spokesperson.