Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently introduced legislation that would repeal Obamacare and replace the unpopular law with patient-centered reforms to lessen healthcare costs and offer consumers more choice.
Based on reforms introduced earlier this year by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), McCain introduced the measure last week before the Senate adjourned for its holiday break.
“I am introducing the Empowering Patients First Act, companion legislation to H.R. 2300, which was introduced in the House by Congressman Tom Price,” said McCain last week in a press statement. “I thank Congressman Price for all of his hard work on this legislation.”
“The Empowering Patients First Act would give patients and their doctors the power to make medical decisions, not Washington,” he said. “There is no doubt that Obamacare is failing, and it is time for Congress to consider our alternatives.”
The Empowering Patients First Act would provide Americans with tax incentives for maintaining health insurance coverage, improve access to health savings accounts (HSAs), reform Medicare and Medicaid, and allow consumers to purchase plans across state lines. It would also guarantee coverage for roughly 1% of Americans with pre-existing conditions.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who served as director of the CBO from 2003 to 2005, and Stephen Parente estimated earlier this month that the reforms proposed by Price would reduce the budget deficit by nearly $2.34 trillion in the 10-year budget window from 2014 to 2023 and reduce health insurance premiums almost across the board.
Though the GOP has yet to rally around a particular healthcare alternative, several proposals have been introduced by congressional Republicans that would repeal and replace Obamacare, but the Empowering Patients First Act is the most formidable in terms of reforms and support.