Friday, February 7

Paul Ryan on Job-Lock Health Insurance requirements - Requiring Health Insurance Portability in Comprehensive Healthcare Reform

Congressman Paul Ryan unveiling the universal coverage program "Patients' Choice Act" at a May 20, 2009 press conference in the U.S. Capitol.

Ryan joined with Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Devin Nunes in promoting this comprehensive health care reform legislation offering the Republican option in contrast to the Obama Administrations Affordable Health Care Reform.

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A lot of people change their jobs. So the tax benefit should change and go with them, and not be attached to their jobs. We want to address job lock. So, they key question that ought to be addressed in any health care reform legislation, is are we going to continue job lock, or are we going to allow individuals more choice, and portability to fit the 21st century workforce? We propose to equalize the tax treatment of health care, giving every American, regardless of employment status, the ability to purchase health insurance, and if you've like what you've got, you can keep it. If you like what you have at your job, you can keep it and apply your tax benefit to that. This will result for a vast majority of Americans in a net tax cut.

We propose to replace this discriminatory tax exclusion with advanceable, refundable tax credit of $2,300 per individual and $5,700 per family. It's a concept that was previously championed by top economic advisers in the Obama administration. The Patient's Choice Act transforms our broken health care system. With perverse incentives and skyrocketing costs, into a vibrant health care market where individuals and families reclaim ownership of their coverage and ownership of their health care decisions.

As I mentioned, if you like what you've got, you can keep it, and you'll probably end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the day. For non-taxpayers, for those whom the credit is advanceable and refundable, we provide a credit in the same amount, but the funding for the credit is generated by savings and entitlement programs. On top of that, Medicaid and SCHIP populations will get additional assistance to cover out-of-pocket costs. This removes the stigma associated with second-class health care that the Medicaid population is experiencing today.

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