Briefing

The Sessions-Cassidy Health Plan


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The remarkable, bicameral Sessions-Cassidy Health Plan (H.R. 5284/S. 2985) was introduced in Congress in late May 2016, by Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX), who, as Chairman of the Rules Committee, is thought to be the second most powerful member of the House of Representatives, and by Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), who probably knows more about healthcare policy than anyone else in the Senate.

These two gentlemen call their proposal, “The World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan.” Given what they are attempting to do, that appellation may not be unreasonably boastful. Of twelve bold ideas in the legislation, fully half have never appeared in any previous bill or in any previous proposal—Republican or Democrat—and the bill is based on my Independent Institute books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America and Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis.

Here are the goals of the bill:

  • Based on a thorough review of the major ways in which federal policies create perverse incentives, the legislation corrects those perversions and removes the federal government as a source of some of our most important health policy problems.
  • Along the way, the bill makes good on what many regard as the three broken promises of the Affordable Care Act: universal coverage, cost control, and real protection for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • At the same time, it paves the way for a medical marketplace in which empowered patients can make more of their own choices, while enjoying protection against the cost of catastrophic illness—both the financial cost and the cost of rationing by waiting.


John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”


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