We were excited to read Sen. Orrin Hatch describe his proposed Republican Patient CARE Act ("Scrap Obamacare, embrace free markets," Tribune, Feb. 9).
New ideas? Hatch would require private insurers to provide the popular "Washington mandates" of Obamacare: coverage of pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, and keeping children to age 26 on their parents’ policy.
Like Obamacare, Hatch’s plan would give a federal subsidy to families earning up to 300 percent of the poverty level to buy their own policy through a private company.
We searched his op-ed for the difference he claims would save "almost $1.5 trillion over 10 years and reduce premiums compared to Obamacare." Apparently he would allow Medicaid patients to use state and federal dollars to buy private insurance and require insurers to pay doctors better. Savings?
He also claims savings by reducing unnamed distortions in the tax code and passing tort reform. Since he really isn’t proposing anything different from Obamacare, why not just fix the tax code and pass reasonable tort reform?
And why has he been in Washington so long without doing that while the health care bus drove over the abyss? If that’s what’s needed, get it done!
Mary Louise Bean
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