Why Democrats Should Love Cruz's Health Care Amendment

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), along with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), may have the solution to the health care stalemate—and it just might allow a functioning health insurance market to emerge once again for most people. And Democrats should support it because it has similarities to a plan they love: the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Cruz has not released legislative language at this writing, just a card entitled “Path to Yes” with four proposals on it.

(1) Consumer Freedom Option.

(2) Real Flexibility for Medicaid.

(3) Enact the “consensus” market reforms.

(4) Reach a real agreement to rein in the long-term growth of Medicaid.

But the first principle is the one getting all of the attention. It says:

“Consumer Freedom Option. Obamacare’s insurance mandates caused premiums to skyrocket. To fix that problem, the [Senate GOP] bill should add a provision that says that any insurance company that offers at least one plan that meets the mandates can also sell any other plans that consumers desire.”
So any health insurer that offered at least one plan that covered Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits and did not charge someone more because of a preexisting medical condition would be able to offer consumers a wide range of non-qualified plans.

It appears that people who qualify would still receive federal subsidies for choosing an Obamacare-qualified plan, but not for non-qualified plans. However, No. 3 in the Cruz handout says people could use tax-free Health Savings Account (HSA) funds to purchase those policies.

Read more at Forbes
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