Issa introduces discussion draft of Affordable Care Act repeal, replacement bill

Darrell Issa

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) released a discussion draft of a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a solution that would enable everyone to purchase the same insurance plans that federal employees can access.

The Access to Insurance for All Americans Act would open the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHB) to every American, guaranteeing coverage of pre-existing conditions, barring lifetime caps, allowing for coverage of dependents under 26 years old and eliminating mandates.

“No matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, people are worried about what the future holds for their health care,” Issa said. “I hear every day from constituents who’ve lost their health insurance plans or who’ve seen their costs rise because of Obamacare. Yet, with repeal before us, I also hear from constituents who are worried about losing coverage for pre-existing conditions or who have been saved from financial hardship by the prohibition on lifetime caps.”

Issa added, “The plan I’m proposing frees us from Obamacare’s burdens while focusing on what works to create a simpler, patient-centered, market-based health care alternative that puts patients back in the driver’s seat of their health care.”

Under the bill, health insurance consumers would have access to more than 300 privately run health plans offered by FEHB, including HMOs, PPOs and consumer driven health plans.

Issa’s proposal would provide more affordable health care options. FEHB plans increased 4.4 percent on average in 2017, while the cost of the average individual plan on Obamacare spiked 25 percent.

Issa’s draft bill would also make multiple nationwide health plans available across state lines to promote portability and competitiveness.

“My 10-page bill is simple, short and will be posted online for all to read and review,” Issa said. “I encourage feedback so that together we can advance a solution that protects patients, and truly puts your needs first.”

Employers could choose to subsidize premium costs for employees who receive coverage through FEHB under the bill, and Americans could deduct the cost of health insurance premiums separately from medical expenses.