Opinion

Republicans have a plan for patient-centered health care

RSC proposal aims to make good on president’s vision of the GOP as the party of health care

The Republican Study Committee’s “Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care” offers the American people thoughtful solutions for patient-centered health care, Marshall and Johnson write. (Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — “The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care. You watch.” — President Donald J. Trump, March 26, 2019

There’s one thing everyone in D.C. can agree on: Our current health care system is not working, and it’s high time we modernize it. But with health care such a deeply personal issue, it’s no simple task. That’s why we, the Republican Party, want you and your doctor to be in charge, not the federal government. This stands in stark contrast to the Democrats’ plan, which calls for the federal government to completely take over your health care.

Whether you’re a young couple deciding where to have your first baby, or you’re a son or daughter helping your parents decide where to go for Alzheimer’s care or cancer treatment, you want to make these choices.

[Senate Republicans kill Democratic move on Trump health policy]

We both came to Washington to find a fix to these long-standing issues plaguing our health care system. To that end, we, along with our colleagues on the Republican Study Committee, have proposed a bold and innovative plan to help Americans obtain quality, personalized, patient-centered health care. The product of a year of research and stakeholder discussions, the RSC’s “Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care” offers the American people thoughtful solutions that will increase choice, protect those with preexisting conditions, promote innovation and transparency, lower costs, and empower patients to be informed decision-makers.

First and foremost, our plan will protect those with preexisting conditions in a smarter way than has ever been done. We do this through a belt-and-suspenders approach.

The RSC plan protects those with preexisting conditions and levels the playing field regarding taxes by allowing those who wish to purchase insurance on the individual market to do so tax-free — the same as we do for those who get their insurance from a large employer. To be very clear, we expand HIPAA’s employer market protections to individual and small-group markets. This is the belt.

As for the suspenders, we provide for a responsible safety net of federally funded, state-administered guaranteed coverage pools. These pools would allow flexibility for states to design a plan that maximizes value and quality.

Our plan will positively affect the approximately 8.4 million people currently enrolled in the individual market and the 27.5 million who still have no health coverage. These groups would benefit greatly from our efforts to drive down the cost of health care.

As detailed in the RSC proposal, our plan will drive down the cost of health care and positively affect all populations, vulnerable and otherwise, as well as help balance our federal budget.

The proposal unleashes health savings accounts and bolsters health reimbursement arrangements; expands access to direct primary care and telemedicine; increases options for association health plans and health care sharing ministries; and reduces barriers posed by state lines.

These policies will enable the health care market to operate like all others, by giving you, the patient, the ease you desire and the quality you expect from the American health care system.

And through our plan, we are protecting Medicare, reforming Medicaid and strengthening all insurance markets.

Overall, the RSC health care plan builds on what works and fixes what’s broken. Implementing it would drive down costs in a meaningful and sustainable way, without shortchanging ourselves and future generations.

And this is just the beginning of our fight to reform the broken health care system. As this is such a complex topic, we decided to break our proposal into two phases. The next phase will focus even more on transparency, as well as harnessing the power of information technology and mobile devices.

The RSC is committed to delivering on President Trump’s vision of the Republican Party as the party of health care. We aim to do that by empowering patients and ensuring access to quality and choice.

Rep. Roger Marshall, M.D., is a Republican representing Kansas’ 1st District. He chairs the Republican Study Committee Health Care Task Force. He was previously a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist in Great Bend, Kansas.

Rep. Mike Johnson is a Republican representing Louisiana’s 4th District. He is the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in the House.

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