Republican House members have come up with a bill that would try to use mechanisms such as risk pools, reinsurance programs and interstate insurance sales to hold down costs and help the uninsured.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, has offered the proposal as an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” to H.R. 3962, the 1,990-page Affordable Health Care For America Act bill. an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” to H.R. 3962, the 1,990-page Affordable Health Care For America Act bill.
The 219-page includes some sections that are comparable to existing H.R. 3962 provisions. The Republican bill would, for example, prohibit health insurers from imposing annual or lifetime caps on claims, and it would restrict their ability to rescind policies already in force.
The bill also would encourage use of wellness programs and quality improvement programs.
But the bill makes “reducing health care premiums” a primary goal and part of a title heading, and it would not impose new limits on use of medical underwriting in the sale or pricing of health insurance.
Section 102 of the bill appears to remove the existing individual health insurance access requirement created by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
Instead, Section 101 of the bill would create a new reinsurance system to help health insurers share the risk of insuring people with serious health problems, and it would expand the risk pool program to ensure that people with health problems can buy coverage.