NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Yes, the GOP Does Have a Plan to Reform Health Care

March 28, 2012

The GOP has been criticized for their threats to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), with opponents arguing that congressional Republicans would scrap one health care reform plan when they have no better ideas.  However, the GOP has produced a far-more-radical plan that will exceed the illusory benefits of the ACA, says John C. Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

In creating a logical health care reform plan that will address the woes of the current system, Republican Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) looked to the facts on the ground:

  • Under the current system, federal, state and local tax subsidies for private health insurance approach $300 billion a year.
  • These subsidies are largely regressive: according to the Lewin Group, families earning $100,000 a year get nearly six times as much tax relief as families earning $25,000.
  • The unreformed health care system also places a substantial burden on those who are unable to get health insurance through their employer -- notably, the 1-in-5 workers who are part time and the many self-employed.

In addressing these problems and attempting to establish a more equitable system whereby all workers would have a realistic chance at financing health care coverage, Republican leadership established each of these provisions as a feasible step forward:

  • A tax credit of $2,500 per person or $8,000 for a family of four should be provided universally for the purchase of health insurance.
  • The subsidy would be refundable -- everyone gets it even if he does not owe any income taxes.
  • Families can obtain the subsidy in the year in which the insurance is purchased and would not have to wait until April 15 the following year to get their credit.
  • Insurance companies and other intermediaries would be able to help families obtain their credit and apply it directly to the health insurance premiums.

Goodman emphasizes that such a plan would provide tax relief to everyone equally.  Furthermore, because the new plan would cover the basics of health care without the superfluous components, wasteful spending could be limited.

Source: John C. Goodman, "Yes, The GOP Does Have A Plan To Reform Health Care," Investor's Business Daily, March 26, 2012.

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