Delay mandate on insurance for individuals, Tipton urges
The federal requirement that individuals have health insurance should be pushed back a year, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said.
“This is not ready for prime time,” Tipton said of the beginning of open enrollment, which begins on Tuesday, the first day of the new federal fiscal year, for insurance that becomes effective on Jan. 1.
Demanding a delay in the individual mandate to be insured in 2014 is one of the options that House Republicans were discussing in connection with resolving the budget impasse, Tipton said Thursday.
A year’s delay in the insurance requirement would allow Republicans and Democrats to step back and consider how best to increase the affordability and accessibility of health care, Tipton said.
The 21-hour speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, earlier in the week was an impressive accomplishment, Tipton said, but it could have been better had Cruz addressed some of the suggestions by Republicans to improve health care in the United States.
He favors a measure by Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., H.R. 2300, to give patients greater say in health care decisions, Tipton said.
The Price bill would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board established in the Affordable Care Act, an important step that Tipton said was sought by a dozen Grand Junction physicians in recent meetings.
The bill also would address pre-existing conditions, one of the attractive elements of the Affordable Care Act, Tipton said.
Other features of the bill include allowing insurers to cross state lines and provide tort reform to remove the motivation for defensive medicine.
The Price bill remains in committee and has yet to get a vote in the full House.
A similar measure by the Republican Stucy Committee has yet to be introduced, but Tipton said he prefers the measure by Price, who practiced medicine in the Atlanta area for 20 years.
Tipton also supports legislation that would prohibit the federal government from paying the health care premium contributions of members of Congress and another requiring proof of eligibility for premium subsidies.