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Politics

Ted Yoho Pushes Private Sector as Alternative to Obamacare

March 17, 2017 - 9:00am
Ted Yoho
Ted Yoho

As Republicans ponder the best way to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s federal health care law, a conservative Florida Republican in Congress is looking to ensure the private sector will play a larger role. 

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., brought out the “Holding Health Insurers Harmless Act” which he says will reform Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) and help the private sector cover more health care plans. Yoho’s proposal would return “federal requirements on health insurance plans back to the legal regime before the ACA’s mandates and penalties came into force, so we have time to work on replacing the ACA with effective reform" and let insurers provide plans outside the Obamacare mandates without being penalized by the federal government. 

The North Florida Republican made his case for his legislation on Thursday. 

“As we hammer out a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, it is important that all Americans have access to quality health insurance,” Yoho said. “Since ACA was signed into law, many insurers have either refused to participate in the exchanges established by the ACA, or have stopped participating in them altogether. In some states there is only one health insurance provider and option. This is unacceptable and not what was promised. 

“This is a major problem, especially considering the fact that health insurers are devising the plans they will offer for the next business year and beyond,” Yoho added. “The private sector will factor in what we accomplish over the next few weeks in their decisions on whether to provide certain plans. So, we need to let those insurers know that help is on the way.

“The bill I introduced today assures insurance companies that they will not be penalized by any federal agency if they offer insurance plans like they were able to before the ACA was signed into law,” Yoho continued. “This bill keeps protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allows individuals to stay on their parent’s plans till age twenty-six while these companies plan for the future.  Allowing them to do this, without penalty, will benefit the American people and help in our transition to a better, patient-centered, health care system.”

The bill was sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday. So far, there are no co-sponsors. 

Yoho, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said earlier this week that he opposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s, R-Wisc., effort to repeal and replace Obama’s law. The Trump administration has backed the AHCA with the president praising it as “wonderful” and Vice President Mike Pence and HHS Sec. Tom Price urging congressional Republicans to pass it. 

Appearing on the PBS Newshour with Judy Woodruff on Tuesday night, Yoho, the vice-chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he could not support the AHCA as it currently is. 

“My reservations are many,” Yoho told Woodruff. “I like the direction we’re moving in, but I could not support the bill as it is right now.”

 


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Comments

What is your opinion of the single payer health option? The insurance companies were already squeezing people out of insurance coverage before the ACA. Rates were going up, claims were being denied, and deductibles were very high. I wish I understood your plan. The ins and outs of just how more can be covered for less money.

Repeal Obamacare! It was good maybe for people with kids but for us older people not 65, but no children, not only can we not afford insurance but we can't afford the tax penalty either! Pass the new bill anything has to be better than Obamacare. When Obamacare happened employers stopped providing health insurance and made their employees go to Obamacare. Others who made a little bit more combined with their spouses income were kicked to the curb, told they didn't qualify for Obamacare and had to buy private insurance which was more costly and unaffordable. Next voting period I will vote against any lawmaker that voted to keep Obamacare. This will be the last time we pay the tax penalty.

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer the last yr of her master's degree program in 2007.Under old system she had no job there for she had no health insurance she was too old for my husband's coverage since the till 26 provision was not available what were we to do? Unbelievably after she was originally treated and recovered she was then put in a high-risk category and had to pay higher premiums for insurance because of the old system. Is this the system you want to go back to? Really? PS she passed away in 2009 thanks to no help from the insurance industry!

Ted is one of the smartest guys in the "Florida Delegation" (if not THE smartest !)

And that's even scarier!

Yeah Ted and when all those Trump voters open their new insurance policies and find they are much higher costs for less coverage, you'll be toast...... You seem to forget the joy of healthcare rising 10%/yr and many plans you want had little actual coverage still sticking the taxpayers with the bill when they get sick..............And Trump promised better cheaper healthcare and Ted certainly is not giving it............. Fact is with the Government already paying for the most expensive patients already for the money going in Medicare/caid, Vets, Congress, Gov, etc healthcare by going to Medicare for all would likely cost less than we pay now and insure everyone.........

Before ACA: Growing number of uninsured people going to emergency rooms. Medical debt and bankruptcy. Uncapped cost of health care = insurers earning billions in unregulated profit, lack of fair treatment by health care providers, Consumer protections gone, prescription drugs denied, untreated diabetes epidemic, 40 million Americans with no insurance

The penalty is cost, service, and exclusions.

You are totally on point. This is a prescription for disaster for everyone. The system is already a bewildering maize of options. So, now this would unleash an avalanche of options on an already confused populace. As they totally give up the idea of insurance all together because it is just to crazy and expensive to navigate - those of us that have employer based plans will experience spiking health insurance costs as more and more people seek basic care in the ER. Ultimately the only option for controlling healthcare cost is a single payer system and strong governmental controls. However, with this thought process rampant we may have to go through a complete failure of our healthcare system to come to that conclusion.

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