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Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Revised BCRA Has No Opt-Out from Obamacare  

Bill Does Not Repeal/Replace Obamacare, Reject Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies, Repeal Mandates Nor Eliminate All Obamacare Taxes

 PAUL, Minn.—As Congress continues to debate the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) and push for a vote, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) says the revised bill has its merits, but also many negative aspects.

“There are things to like in BRCA 3.0, such as allowing health savings accounts to pay for premiums,” said CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase. “This begins to equalize tax treatment of premium costs for individuals, however, not everyone wants or has a health savings account, so broader tax equity should be considered.

“There are also many things not to like about the revised GOP Senate BCRA bill,” she continued, “including the fact that it’s not a ‘repeal or replace’ of Obamacare, it authorizes payment for the cost-sharing reduction subsidies that are currently under litigation by the GOP in the U.S. House, the individual and employer mandates are not actually repealed—the penalties are just zeroed out—and three of the Obamacare taxes are retained.”

Furthermore, Brase added, the catastrophic coverage language is a shell game and doesn’t appear to allow anyone to escape the high-cost premiums of Obamacare for at least three reasons:

  1. While the revised BCRA opens up catastrophic plans to all-comers, there’s no guarantee that insurers will offer it.
  2. Because insurers offering catastrophic plans must offer at least one Obamacare compliant policy, it’s not clear that indemnity health insurance—true catastrophic policies with truly affordable prices—can be offered.
  3. Catastrophic coverage enrollees would be placed in a risk pool with people who are buying non-catastrophic coverage. The draft language forces the insurer to put everyone they cover in the individual market—everyone who buys their own insurance either off the exchange or on the exchange, mandate-rich or catastrophic-narrow—into the same risk pool. Because most individuals with pre-existing conditions, better called ‘uninsurable conditions,’ would likely buy the more expensive, mandate-rich Obamacare plans, those buying the less expensive catastrophic plans would be forced to help cover the higher costs.

“In short,” Brase said, “individuals buying catastrophic coverage as actual insurance against the risk of getting an expensive medical condition they don’t yet have would be lumped together with those buying mandate-rich coverage for third-party payment of medical conditions they already have. Thus, the new language maintains a cost-redistribution system similar to the one operating in Obamacare today. There appears to be no opt-out of Obamacare or its redistribution scheme.”

CCHF seeks to restore health freedom, for both patients and doctors, through its innovative initiative The Wedge of Health Freedom (www.JointheWedge.com), which recently marked one year in existence. Today, more than 200 medical practices in 44 states around the country have joined The Wedge, which is using third-party-free direct payment to transform the entire health care system back to freedom and restore simplicity, affordability and confidentiality.

For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more about The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.