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GOP group preps PPACA alternative

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The Republican Study Committee could release a major health reform proposal of their own as early Sept. 9.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the committee chairman, has said he wants the committee to get the proposal out after Congress returns from its August recess.

Scalise has been promoting the PPACA alternative bill project in town hall meetings in his district, and tweeting about the bill using the hash tags #replacementbill and #repealandreplace.

The committee developed an alternative to H.R. 3590, one of the bills at the heart of PPACA, in 2009, which would have encouraged employers to offer defined contribution plans and allowed carriers to sell coverage across state lines. It also would have imposed new curbs on medical malpractice suits and added new tax credits and deductions.

Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute might have energized Republican efforts to come up with PPACA alternatives in March, when he wrote a white paper encouraging states to try to block the law.

“A critical mass of states exercising their vetoes over exchanges and the Medicaid expansion can force Congress to reconsider, and hopefully repeal, the rest of this counterproductive law.” Cannon said.

Another think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, published a paper in which a team of health policy specialists said the government should encourage carriers to set individualized premiums that take people’s health status into account, then use premium supports to help poor people and sick people pay for coverage.

The AEI team also proposed the government allow insurers and their customers to enter into multiyear health insurance contracts, to help increase rate stability; abolish the tax break for employer-sponsored health benefits; and use the $300 billion by eliminating group health tax subsidies to help the sick and the poor buy coverage.

“The use of private health insurers allows choice for consumers and exploits the incentives of private firms to encourage the efficient use and pricing of health care services,” the AEI team says.

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