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  • Sen. DeMint's Proposal for Patient Empowerment (Not Government Control)

    American families would receive $5,000 and individuals $2,000 to buy health insurance if their employers didn’t offer it, according to new health reform legislation introduced yesterday by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). In addition to providing families and consumers with vouchers, the Health Care Freedom Plan also:

    • Expands Americans’ use of health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for insurance premiums
    • Creates a nationwide market for health insurance by allowing consumers to buy health insurance in any state
    • Provides block grants to states to develop innovative models for ensuring that  people with pre-existing health conditions can get affordable access to care
    • Requires that patients are able to see price information before receiving any medical treatment so that they can make better informed decisions

    DeMint says, “We will reclaim the money left in [the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)] and use it to pay for this over the next 10 years. That’s it. No new taxes.”

    “Unlike President Obama and some congressional leaders’ plans to increase Washington’s power over Americans’ decision making process, this bill would give help to those who need it and expand choices for American families,” said Nina Owcharenko, deputy director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies. Even liberal health care advocacy group Families USA has said the DeMint bill has some merit.

    “We don’t need a multi-trillion dollar government takeover of health care to make reform happen,” DeMint said, noting that malpractice lawsuit reform in his bill would help the health industry help cut down on out-of-control health care costs. “We need to move to more consumerism in the health care sector.”

    The new bill comes after ABC News broadcasted for several hours yesterday at the White House, giving President Barack Obama a good portion of the primetime to push his health agenda. While the president stressed in a press conference Wednesday that a public plan would not have unfair advantages over private insurance plans, DeMint said Obama’s claim “is not true.”

    “A government option will replace private health insurance — there is no question about it,” he added.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Sen. DeMint's Proposal for Patient Empowerment (Not Government Control)

    1. Dana, FL says:

      HSA's! Great! How can this DeMint's plan reach more people?

    2. Jim B, Maryland says:

      It's like ObamaCare…except with common sense, respect for free markets and individual choice, and…

      Oh…who am I kidding? It's nothing like ObamaCare. This one actually has the potential to bring about real competition for health insurance and empower patients with the information they need to make informed decisions.

    3. Barb, Arizona says:

      It's surely worth investigating. I am totally against Obamacare. I don't want the Government signing the death warrant for anyone I know by limiting care. I'd certainly like to know more about this plan. We should have more than the Obamaplan to consider.

    4. Joann, Ohio says:

      This is a great plan, but if the the other networks won't talk about it, again, most of the American people won't hear about it ~ and the control will continue!

      I wish our country was still like we were after 9/11. Unfortunately, it did not last long enough.

    5. Joann, Ohio says:

      This is a great plan, but if the the other networks won't talk about it, again, most of the American people won't hear about it ~ and the control will continue!

      I wish our country was still like we were after 9/11. Unfortunately, our concern for each other did not last long enough.

    6. Roger S., MA. says:

      I like this plan's much greater simplicity, but that's about all I like about it. How about this: "Congress shall make no law regarding taxation of any part of a citizen's income or assets required for his or her basic sustenance, including costs for insuring, maintaining, or restoring health"? ——- And, make that a Constitutional Amendment. This would create huge exemptions for those most needy, which they would be free to invest in insurance on a free market, or save without having interest-gains taxed. In times of emergencies such as an exotic or life-threatening illness it would free up an individual's or family's total income and assets to combat the situation. It would allow any third party charitable contribution in this context to escape any provisions of any gift-tax whether or not it transited an accredited charitable institution, etc. It would in one fell swoop remove a large part of the health-care market from federal government control.

      You see, as a free man I just don't like the idea of having to apply to my government for a permit or a voucher to sustain what is my most basic human right in the first place, moreover one guaranteed by our constitution, namely to sustain my life by my own effort! Beyond that, I find utterly scary the very thought that this discussion has even become necessary in this country.

    7. mark says:

      This plan will work and will allow the

      U.S. health care system to continue to be the

      best in the world.

      Mr. DeMint is one of the bright stars of the

      republican party. I hope the American people

      can hear about his thoughtful and effective approach

      to government before we become France.

    8. Shirley, Tn. says:

      LIke this plan better then goverments,don't like it at all.

    9. Walter, Louisville, says:

      I have listened to and followed the healthcare plan debate intently and I figured that Obama would reach out and attempt to "socialize" everything. I don't support a public option but on the other hand I don't like what we have today either. Without a job that offers a healthcare benefit, healthcare coverage is simply too expensive for most Americans. What's worse is that real market-oriented solutions are never even discussed publicly. Healthcare costs are badly inflated because they are not subject to normal market pressures and since this is the case and the system that is in place today is the only option used in comparison to Obama's plan, his plan will be adopted. Count on it. Yes, there may be enough support to stall Obama's plan but I suspect that support for the status quo will get harder to drum up especially with so many people out of work with no employer-sponsored healthcare.

    10. Dan L says:

      Honduras had the right idea.

    11. Joann D Seneca SC says:

      I wish that before being so proud of his plan he had done his research. $5000.00 is not a drop in the bucket for what is needed if you do not have health insurance. Our company dropped our major medical insurance. Just to cover myself and my Husband would be $920. per month and that would not even cover pre existing conditions which we both have. $5000.00 will not even cover us for 6 months out of the year and still nothing for the tremendous medical expenses we are faced with for our pre existing conditions. This is not the answer!! We also just lost a friend to an illness that is treatable with prescription medicine that he could not afford when he lost his job. He died because he could not buy the medicine that would have saved his life. It is time we all get our heads out of the sand and truly look at the facts and what is happening to Americans every day! I know I will not see this posted as OBVIOUSLY they only list the ones that are for their position on this subject as I can't believe no one else has explained this point before me.

    12. simplify government says:

      Universal health care is going happen in the United States. If we are we are going to implement, let’s do it right.

      In the 1964, the nation recognized that had the obligation to assist people who did not have the means to feed themselves. Did the US Government take over the farms, the grocery stores and the local convenience store? No. They implemented a voucher system that gave the INDIVIDUAL (consumer) food stamps (money) to buy food. The INDIVIDUAL was able make their own decision on what and where to buy food. These food stamps are now presented in the form of ATM like cards. Of course, most of INDIVIDUALs are price sensitive and will look for the highest quality at the lowest price. This fits in well with a free enterprise market. Competition controls prices.

      The same concept can be used in the health care market. Health care insurance vouchers could be distributed to the INDIVIDUAL in need. The INDIVIDUAL then can make their own decision on the appropriate health care insurance program for themselves. Power to the people, not the government. These programs can replace Medicare, Medicare other government run heath care programs. Veterans would have a choice between sub-par services of the VA or choose a private health care plan. This will lead to enormous reduction of government bureaucracy.

      If fact, the voucher concept can and has been used on many social support systems such as housing and education. All these system could share the same eligibility bureaucracy. There would be no government support infrastructure needed to deliver the actual services. With the reduction of the government bureaucracy, we could help more people with less.

    13. Marty, Utah says:

      It seems like most of the chatter about health care centers on the government paying people's expenses. How about getting the Federal Government out of Health Care and Education and let each state and community deal with issues.

      The emphasis needs to be on teaching people how to live healthy and avoid most of the costs associated with health care. Health care is not something where one package fits everybody.

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