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Blog: The GOP Health Care Plan


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On Saturday, July 21, I attended "The Debate on the Affordable Care Act". Dr. Anna Ha Tran, Doctors for America, presented the pro ACA position with clear documented statements and responses to questions.

The other presenter was Dr. John C. Goodman from the National Center for Policy Analysis, who presented an alternative to the ACA. He distributed copies of the plan, entitled "A Healthcare Contract with America." I found many shortcomings, and even some absurdities in Dr. Goodman's "Healthcare Contract".

For example, it would remove a business' ability to claim provision of health insurance to employees as a business expense under the current tax code, and would instead grant a $2500 tax credit to everyone to buy individual health insurance. Anyone who did not buy individual health insurance with the $2500 tax credit would forfeit the tax credit, and the $2500 tax credit would go to safety net institutions to be a pool for reimbursement for the costs of treating uninsured people.

It goes without saying that a tax credit is not the same thing as an actual government check for $2500, but rather it is a credit against tax which a taxpayer would otherwise owe. In for a taxpayer to be able to purchase health insurance, the taxpayer would have to be due a tax refund of at least $2500.

In the case where the taxpayer who has the $2500 tax credit but elects to not purchase health insurance with it, the $2500 is supposed to go to safety net institutions to reimburse them for care delivered to uninsured individuals. How will these institutions learn of this unused tax credit, to which they now have a claim? How will they get the actual funds? Dr. Goodman offered no legal mechanism for the safety net institution to obtain the $2500 refunded by the IRS to the taxpayer for its uninsured's pool.

Additionally, even when a citizen does get a $2500 tax refund, Dr. Goodman's Contract assumes that market forces would produce individual health insurance policies which could be purchased for $2500 a year, or for $8000 a year for a family of four.

Dr. Goodman stated that the "Healthcare Contract" is representative of the GOP "Repeal and Replace" bill now being proposed in the House of Representatives by the Republican majority. If the "Healthcare Contract" is representative of the GOP's alternative to the ACA, then it is clear that the GOP's plan is to undo healthcare in America. . . no surprise here!

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