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.


COMMENTS

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As accurately reported by Gary Harmon this morning (“Delay mandate on insurance for individuals, Tipton urges”), our pathologically dishonest Repugnican Congressman Scott “Tea Party” Tipton is at it again – playing “shell games” with his gullible constituency.

Understandably – even though thoroughly discredited by the Sentinel’s more accurate editorial demolition of Senator Ted Cruz’s bloviating-to-the base (“Cruz carnival”) – Tipton found Cruz’s 21-hour fund-raising appeal “impressive”.

While Tipton (and the Republican Study Committee) earnestly touts Tom Price’s (R-UT) Orwelian-named “Empowering Patients First Act” (H.R. 2300), his is woefully ignorant of its provisions.

First, in contrast to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)(“ObamaCare”), H.R. 2300 “is not ready for prime time” (to quote Tipton) because “it remains in committee and has yet to get a vote in the House” (as Harmon notes), much less been “scored” by the CBO.

Second, because H.R. 2300 provides no funding source for its subsidies – while the ACA is fully funded by various tax increases – H.R. would annually cost $100 billion more than will the ACA, thereby increasing the national debt by $1 trillion over ten years.

Third, Tipton disingenuously claims that H.R. 2300 “also would address pre-existing conditions, one of the attractive elements of the Affordable Care Act.”  That “attractive element” of the ACA “addresses” pre-existing conditions by expressly prohibiting any denial of coverage or other discrimination based on any pre-existing condition (Section 2705, effective January 1, 2014).

Tipton’s preferred alternative would “address” pre-existing conditions by continuing to permit such discrimination (Section 107), except in those narrow circumstances wherein Section 9801 of the IRS Code (relating to employer-deductibility of premiums for group health insurance plans) limits exclusions based on pre-existing conditions.

Fourth, permitting “portability” across state lines undermines the current state-by-state regulatory system, while the ACA allows re-locating citizens to immediately acquire new coverage on state or federal “exchanges”.

Scott knows darn well that the individual mandate is required for Obamacare to work. He should propose solutions, not just shoot things down. If we dont make people have insurance, Mesa County taxpayers pay for their care, through our property taxes and hospital bills. Make people pay their own way!

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