GOP member offers ObamaCare repeal, replace bill

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) last week proposed legislation to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a 200-page bill that includes ideas like medical tort reform, coverage for pre-existing conditions and expanded health savings accounts.

Duffy's Patient Centered Healthcare Savings Act, H.R. 3622, will likely be panned by Democrats, and might not even move in the House. But the bill does rise to the challenge set by Democrats who have said Republicans are only interested in repealing ObamaCare, but not replacing it with an alternative system.

ADVERTISEMENT
Duffy said last week that Congress needs to start thinking about a replacement system in light of President Obama's admission that the ObamaCare rollout has so far been troubled.

"[H]is apology does not change the reality that his law has forced millions of Americans to lose the healthcare plans they presumably liked," Duffy said last week. "It does not change the fact that Denise may not have coverage she needs when the time comes for her to receive a kidney transplant. His apology certainly doesn’t help Warren, who had a doctor a few miles away from his home, but thanks to the President’s law, he will now need to drive up to 70 miles each way.

"[I]t is not enough to just talk about the harmful impact of this law, we have to be resolved to do something about it."

Duffy's bill starts by repealing ObamaCare, and then includes several provisions, including letting people buy insurance across state lines to create more choices. It would expand the ability of people to save for medical expenses using health savings accounts, including by allowing non-working spouses to contribute more to these accounts.

It would seek to strengthen states' high risk pools by ensuring universal access to these pools, and removes annual and lifetime caps under these plans. Elsewhere, it requires coverage for pre-existing conditions, and lets people up to age 23 stay on their parents' plans — ObamaCare currently allows people up to age 26 to stay on their parents' plans.

Title II deals with medical liability reform, which the bill says is needed to reduce the practice of defensive medicine and reduce medical costs. It does so in part by limiting non-economic damages in medical lawsuits to $250,000.

It also includes language aimed at making sure patients get more of the money at the end of a suit, and limits lawyer fees to 15 percent of any award above $600,000.

Title VII of the bill is aimed at curbing Medicare waste, and includes language increasing civil and criminal penalties for Medicare fraud.