House Republicans have apparently come up with their own health plan to counter health care reform proposals currently being debated in Congress. The catch? It isn’t really their plan at all, but a direct plagiarism of the McCain-Palin health plan that voters rejected last year. I don’t know what makes House Republicans think that this plan will go over any better than last time, but it seems that since they can’t come up with anything on their own, they need to revert back to old, poorly-received ideas in the hopes that the American public will be duped into supporting its nonsense.
The Empower Patients First Act proposes to deregulate the health insurance industry in precisely the same way that the banking industry was deregulated over the past couple decades, according to the Wonk Room. Although Rep. Tom Price claims that the Empower Patients First Act aims to make coverage more affordable, accessible, and responsive, the legislation would actually do the opposite. The plan should really be called the Empower Insurance Companies First Act, as it would allow health insurers to pull coverage when you get sick or deny you care.
As you can see from this map, Minnesota currently requires health plans to cover breast cancer screenings, has a maximum look-back period of 12 months or less for how far in the past an insurance company can look to determine if patients are disqualified for pre-existing conditions, and has the patient’s right to review. These consumer protections would be lost under the House plan. The plan would also allow insurance companies to sell across state lines, making it incredibly easy for them to dodge the states that have consumer protections in place.
Today is the 44th birthday of Medicare, a perfect time to pass legislation that guarantees quality, affordable health care for all. Write to your Representative and urge them to vote for this historic health reform, which actually promises expanded coverage and better care rather than allowing insurers to pull coverage more easily like the House Republican bill would do.
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