Replacing ObamaCare: Republican Alternative Expands HSA Access

RSC ObamaCare Alternative

This is the second in a multi-part series exploring the Republican Study Committee’s proposal for replacing ObamaCare.

As we reach the climax of the CR stalemate centered around ObamaCare, the debate will eventually have to shift away from the endless evils of government-driven health care and toward the redeeming power of free-market forces.  Fortunately, the Republican Study Committee recently introduced a comprehensive health care proposal titled the American Health Care Reform Act of 2013 (AHCRA).  The bill, H.R. 3121, both repeals ObamaCare and offers the best set of proposals to date toward establishing a consumer-driven health care narrative for replacing ObamaCare.

Last week I addressed AHCRA’s first core principle, the Standard Deduction for Health Insurance (SDHI), which would unchain the tax advantages for purchasing health insurance from employer-sponsored coverage.  This post focuses on the benefits of enhancing the health savings account (HSA) to unleash the power of the market in combating the skyrocketing costs of care.

HSA Provides Triple-Tax Advantage

Today in Liberty: Obama ‘extremely troubled’ by VA report, economy contracted in 1Q, Snowden speaks about NSA power

“Every once in a while, somebody has to get the bureaucracy by the neck and shake it loose and say ‘stop doing what you’re doing.’” — Ronald Reagan

Today in Liberty: Conservatives want Obamacare replacement vote, Bloomberg to spend $50 million on anti-gun group

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” — Thomas Jefferson

— House conservatives press for Obamacare replacement vote: Republican leaders suggested earlier this year that they would bring to the floor an Obamacare replacement bill, only to back away not long after. House conservatives are now pressing leadership to live up to the rhetoric and hold a vote on an alternative before the August recess. “At the end of the day, we feel it’s really important to bring a bill to the floor that is a true replacement to the president’s healthcare law,” Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told The Hill. “Look, leadership’s come a long way in the last six months on that, and we’re continuing to talk to them to try to get to a point where we actually have a vote on the House floor by the August recess.”

Mulvaney to seek Republican Study Committee chairmanship

Mick Mulvaney

There’s already some jockeying for position for important roles in the next Congress. The National Journal reports that Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) will seek the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a caucus that has historically advanced fiscally conservative causes in the House:

Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina will seek the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee in the 114th Congress, National Journal has learned, the first significant measure of internal campaigning amid a season marked by quiet, cautious jostling for positions in the next session.
Mulvaney, a sophomore lawmaker known for his sharp tongue and quick wit, has long been viewed as a favorite to succeed Scalise—partly because of his relationship with some of the founders, including Hensarling and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Mulvaney’s path to the chairmanship could be complicated, however, if the group’s bylaws are changed.

According to several sources with direct knowledge of the deliberations, the founders are considering a new system under which they would vet candidates and recommend certain people to be included in a caucus-wide vote—without endorsing anyone. Nothing has been finalized, sources cautioned, but the goal would be to avoid having the group’s leaders taking sides in divisive runoff elections.

Yes, there are Republican alternatives to Obamacare

Since the disastrous Obamacare at the beginning of October, some administration officials, congressional Democrats, pundits friendly to President Obama have been, unbelievably, trying to place some blame on Republicans for the problems. They’ve also countered the attempts to repeal or delay the Obamacare with the line that Republicans haven’t offered any ideas or alternatives to this administration’s ill-conceived law.

But that’s not true, as George Will explained on Tuesday night during an appearance on Fox News’ Special Report. Republicans have offered alternatives to Obamacare, and they’ve pushed these ideas for several years.

“I think it’s unfair [to say Republicans don’t have healthcare ideas]. Paul Ryan has a premium support plan, John McCain, amazingly, got it right in 2008,” noted Will, a conservative Washington Post columnist. “[H]e said, look, tax all employer-provided health insurance as what it manifestly is, compensation, but compensate for that by giving people a large tax credit to go into the market and shop across state lines, which you’re not allowed to do now, for health insurance.”

Republican Study Committee rolls out ObamaCare replacement plan

 Repeal and Replace

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), a 175-member conservative group in the House that focuses on policy, has unveiled a replacement for ObamaCare that take a bottom-up, patient-centered approach to health care reform.

House Republicans have been highly critical of ObamaCare, promising to repeal and replace it. Some members, including Reps. Tom Price (R-GA), have offered alternatives, but they’ve yet to coalesce around a piece of legislation that they can sell to an Americans public that disapproves of the law and want it repealed.

The measure put forward by the RSC — H.R. 3121, the “American Health Care Reform Act” — would, obviously, repeal ObamaCare and associated tax hikes and replace it with market-based, patient-centered reforms that lower health insurance costs expanding access to health savings accounts (HSA) and by removing barriers that discourage competition.

Steve Scalise wins race for RSC chair

Following Rep. Tom Price’s disappointing defeat in the race for chair of the House Republican Conference, an early indicator of how the GOP plans to work in the next Congress, conservatives looking to keep some measure of independence lost another leadership battle yesterday. Members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) selected Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is viewed as an ally to Speaker John Boehner, over Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) to led the group of House conservatives:

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana is the new face of the conservative movement in the House of Representatives. At least according to the Republican Study Committee, a caucus representing the right wing of the party.

The RSC elected Scalise to be their new chairman Thursday, taking over from Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Scalise beat Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia for the position, despite the fact that the committee’s founders and past chairmen came out in support of Graves.

“From the beginning I felt like this ought to be a member-driven organization and the members should decide who’s the next chairman,” Scalise told the Alley.

Scalise said that Graves ran a great campaign for the position and that the major differences between the two of them was not in policy but in leadership style.

“The American people chose the Republican House to serve as the only line of defense against Barack Obama’s liberal agenda, and the RSC must stand tall as the conservative rudder, steering the House towards more conservative solutions as we work to get our country back on the right track,” he said in a statement.

FreedomWorks backs Tom Graves for Republican Study Committee Chair

Tom Graves

Last week, I mentioned that Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) was running for chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a group that guides conservative policy in the House. Graves has already received the support of the founders of RSC, but he picked up another endorsement yesterday from FreedomWorks, which has help guide activists in the freedom movement over the last few years:

FreedomWorks announced its commitment today to endorse Tom Graves for the position of Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman. The RSC serves as a fiscally conservative check on Republican leadership, and gives principled men and women of Congress without years of seniority the opportunity to affect real change.

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, “Tom Graves is currently one of the best votes in Congress, scoring 100% on our 2011 legislative scorecard. While others abandoned the ideas of fiscal responsibility and limited-government, Graves took a stand and voted against the Budget Control Act and the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government. We need a strong voice to ensure that good economic policy triumphs over politics as usual in Congress, and Tom Graves is the man for the job.”

Graves was also a recipient of the FreedomWorks Legislative Entrepreneur Award during his service in the Georgia State House, where he created a fiscally conservative caucus.

Graves has competition in the race from Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is closely aligned with House Speaker John Boehner, who is increasingly trying to make sure House Republicans are on board with him through the “fiscal cliff” debate.

Rep. Tom Graves presents a new vision for the Republican Study Committee

Tom Graves

With the election finally over, Republicans in Congress will soon being electing leaders for the next session. There are signs that GOP leadership in the House are already starting to waiver. That’s why strong voices are need to keep them accountable.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has been a voice for fiscal conservatism in the House, fighting for real spending cuts, tax reform, and solving the looming crisis with entitlements. With more than 160 members in its ranks, the RSC will play a significant role in the discussion over fiscal policy in the House over the next two years and it needs a new leader, a fresh face with strong ideas on these important issues.

On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), who is running for chairman of the RSC, explaining his vision for the group as conservatives in Congress enter tough times. Calling it “RSC 2.0,” Graves said that his “mission for RSC is rooted in three parts: Casting a Vision. Building Consensus. Achieving Results.” In his e-mail, Graves also notes, “The challenges we will face in the next two years are predictable and easily forecasted.”

“By Casting a Vision, RSC can plan and prioritize by developing solutions that strategically embrace our conservative principles and align them with tomorrow’s challenges,” Graves explained, adding, “Let’s be proactive, not reactive.” You can read Graves’ full “RSC 2.0” plan at the bottom of the post.

Graves knows that conservatives in the House must accomplish their goals. And, perhaps more importantly, Graves notes, “We can become results driven, with a ‘yes if’ approach instead of ‘no because,’ and equipping RSC members to infuse our ideas throughout the entire legislative process, not just on the floor.”

Graves also sent around this video to colleages:

FreedomWorks rates budget proposals

As you know, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) presented his budget last week. While there are some positives in his proposal, it doesn’t do enough to get the country back on a sustainable path. This is why conservatives in Congress, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and the House Republican Study Committee, have rolled out their own separate proposals to deal with the long-term fiscal issues that pose a real threat to our future prosperity.

So, let’s say you’re a conservative or libertarian and you’re trying to figure out what budget to get behind. Well, our friends over at FreedomWorks have put together a handy budget report card (click on the chart below to open the PDF) that will help compare and contrast the various options on the table:

So-called “progressives” in Congress have also rolled out their own budget, which is worse than what President Barack Obama has submitted, raising taxes by 40% and increasing the deficit by some $6 trillion.

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