Westerman touts Fair Care Act to ‘loosen grip of Big Government’ on health care – SWARK Today

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) introduced the Fair Care Act of 2022, a comprehensive health care reform plan that combines over 75 bipartisan proposals to lower costs, decrease the number of uninsured individuals, protect those with preexisting conditions, and expand coverage options. The members released the following statement:

“Republicans and Democrats alike can agree that our health care system is broken and in  desperate need of reform. Health care doesn’t have to be an issue that divides us,” said Rep. Westerman. “It is possible to loosen the grip of Big Government on our health care system, while lowering costs, and reducing the number of uninsured Americans. The Fair Care Act is all about putting families’ hard earned tax dollars back into their pockets so they can make their own choices about what health care coverage is best for them.  I am confident that through the Fair Care Act, affordable health care is possible for every American.”

“Americans deserve a health care system that puts families first and provides them peace of mind when they get sick or injured,” Gonzalez said. “Despite significant efforts to control costs and increase access to care, far too many Americans and businesses are struggling to find health insurance that is both affordable and will meet their needs. The Fair Care Act is a serious effort to finally put market forces to the test to promote efficiency, improve the quality of services, develop more choices for consumers, and ensure patients are receiving valued care for their money. This legislation charts a path forward that will provide certainty to families without breaking the fiscal bank. Perhaps most importantly, I believe it’s a proposal that can draw support across the political spectrum. It’s a step in the right direction, and I’m proud to support it.”

Stakeholder support:

“We applaud Rep. Westerman for introducing the Fair Care Act, a set of policies aimed at giving Americans a personal option in health care,” said Dean Clancy, Sr Health Policy Fellow, Americans for Prosperity. “By putting patients – not bureaucrats – in the driver’s seat, these reforms will lead to lower prices, better quality, and no more surprises when it comes to the cost of care. If enacted, the policies in the Fair Care Act will increase access to personalized, affordable health care solutions that every American can rely on. We hope lawmakers will support this and similar proposals.”

Background

The Fair Care Act of 2022 is the third version of the Fair Care Act of 2019, crafted with more than 75 bipartisan provisions.

Some of the Fair Care Act of 2022 improvements include:

  • Codifying the Affordable Care Act preexisting condition protections in HIPPA.
  • Offering greater protections for patients with preexisting conditions through an “Invisible Guaranteed Coverage Risk Pool” and guaranteed coverage Medigap plans.
  • Eliminating the employer health insurance mandate and allowing those with Employer Sponsored Insurance (ESI) offers to receive premium assistance.
  • Strengthening and increasing enrollment in the commercial marketplace through expanded assistance to 600 percent FPL and state innovation waivers.
  • Expanding the use of pretax dollars to cover more medical expenses, including insurance premiums and direct primary care arrangements.
  • Promoting transparency by publishing provider networks and prices for common services.
  • Requiring medical providers to send timely, transparent bills to patients.
    Discouraging hospital consolidation and anti-competitive behavior while protecting rural hospitals from closures.
  • Modernizing the prescription drug approval process to bring safe, effective medicine to patients faster.
  • Reforming Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) practices, including eliminating Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees.
  • Expanding the number of health professionals that can provide telehealth services.
    Modernizing Medicare enrollment through a competitive bidding process, which promotes Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Establishing a flexible Medicaid funding option for states and closing the gap between Medicaid eligibility and premium assistance in the individual market.
  • Promoting fiscal accountability and solvency for Medicare and Medicaid.

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