Burr, Hatch introduce alternative to Affordable Care Act
Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced an alternative to the Affordable Care Act on Monday that would establish patient-based reforms in an effort to reduce healthcare costs and increase access to quality care. The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act would repeal the Affordable Care Act and take steps to empower citizens to make healthcare choices that are in their best interest. "Our nation's healthcare system was unsustainable before Obamacare, and the president's healthcare plan made things worse," Burr said. "That's why the Patient CARE proposal repeals Obamacare and focuses on targeted reforms that will lower costs and expand access to quality care. We can lower costs and expand access to quality coverage and care by empowering individuals and their families to make their own healthcare decisions, rather than empowering the government to make those decisions for them." The bill would institute new consumer protections, establish provisions for those with pre-existing conditions, give small businesses more purchasing power and strengthen consumer-directed healthcare measures. "...With our plan, we've shown once again that by empowering Americans - not Washington - with the right tools and information, they will make the best informed healthcare decisions for themselves," Hatch said. "After first repealing the president's health law, we take aim at the chief concerns of the American people - greater economic security by driving down costs and expanding access to high-quality care through increased insurance market competition and reforms. What we've put forward is sustainable and achievable - and without the tax hikes, mandates and budget-busting spending that have made Obamacare so unpopular with the American people." The Patient CARE Act would also take steps to modernize Medicare by providing a capped allotment that would provide states with more stable and flexible funding and reauthorize Health Opportunity Accounts for patients. The measure would also increase pricing transparency and clarify distortions within the tax code.