Some Republican lawmakers have notified the press of the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act, set to be introduced Monday as the Patient Freedom Act. Reports on the bill aired on two conservative television news networks Sunday evening.
Patient Freedom Act of 2017 and 2015
The Patient Freedom Act of 2017, as it is named in a press release by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, appears to be a modified version of a June 2015 bill. That ACA replacement act was drafted by Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. Sen. Collins indicates that she was the co-sponsor, before it was essentially tabled.
Of the 2015 bill, Collins said that it, “is the basis for the legislation we are going to be introducing [on Monday]”.
Since the exact text of the 2017 adaptation is not available, we can only offer the 2015 law for your analysis. Click here to read the full text and view the legislation’s history, and read a summary below.
This bill provides states with three options regarding title I (provisions on health insurance reform, exchanges, and subsidies) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): (1) continue implementing PPACA, (2) do not apply title I of PPACA except to prohibit lifetime or annual limits on health insurance benefits and require coverage of dependents up to 26 years old, or (3) the second option plus implementation of a health savings account (HSA) deposit system.
In states implementing an HSA deposit system, residents who are enrolled in health insurance coverage that meets state standards receive monthly deposits in their HSAs either from states administering federal funds or as a tax credit paid in advance. States that administer deposits are entitled to payments from the Department of Health and Human Services for population health initiatives.
States with an HSA deposit system must offer a health insurance plan that is continually available for enrollment and penalize residents who have a break in coverage.
This bill amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act (SSAct) to disregard assets in an HSA for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility and benefits except for long-term care services.
This bill amends SSAct title XVIII (Medicare) to require participating hospitals to limit costs to individuals for uncovered emergency medical care.
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to eliminate the requirement that an individual have a high deductible health plan to be eligible for the tax benefits of an HSA.
HSAs can be used to pay premiums for health insurance that meets specified requirements.
HSA tax benefits only apply to payments for health care for which the provider publishes the price.
Patient Freedom Act of 2014
There was a 2014 incarnate of the Patient Freedom Act, sponsored by Rep. David Jolly of Florida. That legislation dealt solely with the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all persons carry health insurance through a group, government program, or the individual marketplace.
Click here for the full text and related details. Read a summary below.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal, after 2013, the requirement that individuals maintain minimum essential health care coverage.
While conservative media pointed to Monday’s introduction of the Obamacare replacement bill, until leadership and more of both congressional bodies coalesce around it, those hoping for one may be waiting at least a little longer.