OAKLAND, CAHouse Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has just unveiled an alternative to Obamacare that his GOP colleagues, long criticized for not offering a concrete plan to repeal and replace the 2010 health reform law, finally seem ready to rally around. His proposal draws heavily from a book published by the Independent Institute, a think tank with offices in Oakland and Washington, DC.
This is a major step forward, said Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, author of A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, the book behind the Ryan plan. Republicans are endorsing a vision of health care in which people can make their own decisions, manage more of their own health care dollars, and reap the benefits of competition in the marketplace.
The Ryan plan includes several elements shared with the legislation introduced in May by Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a bill that Goodman helped to draft. They include:
- A uniform health tax credit, independent of income
- Denationalizing and deregulating the market for individual insurance
- Greater use of Health Savings Accounts
- Repeal of the individual mandate to buy health insurance
- Repeal of the employer mandate to offer insurance
In A Better Choice, Goodman argues that ending the Obamacare mandates and subsidies and adopting a uniform tax credit (equal to the cost to Medicaid of a new enrollee) would also yield other important benefits, such as ending the perverse incentives that have caused many employers to keep payrolls small, lay off workers, or rely more on temporary workers.
Goodmans book also recommends other reforms to vastly improve Americas healthcare system, including allowing everyone the right to buy Medicaid or opt out of it and to use the savings to buy private insurance; and encouraging insurers to offer plans that cover changes in a consumers health status.
John C. Goodman, Ph.D. (The Father of Health Savings Accounts.The Wall Street Journal) has written extensively on healthcare policy for more than three decades. He is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, a non-profit research and educational organization that offers non-partisan solutions to important social and economic problems, and President of the Goodman Institute.
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