Health Care Policy Expert: Future GOP Health Care Reform Efforts Must Address The Tax Code

The Senate did not pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Monday, leaving the Affordable Care Act instituted under former President Barack Obama in place — for now. Various Republican senators vociferously opposed the plan for a variety of reasons, with some stating it did not do enough to repeal Obamacare, and some saying that repealing Obamacare without a full replacement was a mistake.

Sally Pipes, author of “The Way Out of Obamacare” talked to Chris Salcedo on today’s “Chris Salcedo Show” about the timeline of the repeal and replace efforts and what the next moves may be for the GOP. She explained that there are three factions within the Senate’s Republican majority that cannot agree on how to proceed.

She appreciated a couple of things in the most recent draft. Americans could use their health savings accounts, to which they were able to contribute twice as much, to pay premiums. But “so much of Obamacare was staying in place,” she said, rendering the BCRA yet another entitlement.

She also explained how Obamacare was basically a “gift to insurance industry” and that the BCRA did not alleviate that aspect. She said Republicans have been talking about repeal and replace since ACA went into effect seven years ago, but the American people “want a health care plan that empowers doctors and patients.” The version that just failed did not.

Pipes advised that future efforts should address the tax code. Under the current code, employer based coverage is lost if an employee loses or quits their job. If they want to buy their own plan, they have to purchase it with after tax dollars. This system “caused a great distortion of the market,” she said, and “individuals are discriminated against.” Premiums have become so expensive under the ACA that many elect to pay the uninsured penalty instead.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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