From The Hill:
Three senior Senate Republicans on Monday proposed an alternative to ObamaCare that would replace “job-crushing” federal mandates with a voluntary system led by the states.
The legislative blueprint from Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would eliminate all of the healthcare law’s federal rules, including the unpopular requirement to purchase insurance under the threat of penalty.
But the GOP proposal, known as the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (CARE) Act, would also weaken one of ObamaCare’s most popular provisions, by giving insurers an opening to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.
Aides said they didn’t expect Obama to sign such a bill into law, even if Republicans control the House and Senate in 2014. But they said the public appetite for an ObamaCare alternative is bound to grow over time. Read more from Jonathan Easley at The Hill.
More on Burr's bill from The N&O.
People with incomes of up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level – $34,470 for an individual – would be eligible for a refundable tax credit to buy health coverage or pay health bills.
The amount could be modest. A person age 18 to 34 who earns 200 percent of the poverty level – $22,980 for an individual – would receive $1,560, according to an outline of the plan.
In addition, it would rely on high-risk pools to help people with expensive health problems who don’t have insurance.
The Republican senators also said they would not expand Medicaid, as the president’s health law does, to provide insurance to the poor who haven’t had it. Instead they would encourage state reforms of the Medicaid system. States would receive federal grants to help low-income children and families, elderly people and those who are disabled if they aren’t able to buy insurance.
“We believe our proposal is roughly budget neutral over a decade,” the senators said in a question and answer sheet. They said that the insurance, Medicaid and tax changes they recommend would lower cost
Looks like Richard Burr will be one of the GOP's leaders of the 2014 Election cycle. Let the games begin.