Rep. Sessions introduces legislation aimed at making healthcare fair for all
“It’s a bill that’s designed to give every single American and family an opportunity to have healthcare on an equality basis.”
Washington D.C. (KBTX) -U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R- District 17) recently introduced the Health Care Fairness for All Act (H.R. 3129), which aims to create a new option for Americans to obtain health care coverage through a portable health insurance tax credit that is available to all Americans.
The bill also aims to reduce healthcare costs, promote price transparency and competition, and would allow all Americans to save and pay for healthcare with a tax-advantaged Roth Health Savings Account (HSA).
In a news release, Rep. Sessions stated that the United States should have a healthcare system that reflects its founding principles of freedom and opportunity.
“Our current health care system puts countless American families and individuals in no-win circumstances, forcing high costs and little choice,” said Congressman Pete Sessions. “The Health Care Fairness for All Act will empower Americans to make effective decisions for themselves and their families while incentivizing private markets to be more innovative and competitive.”
Sessions says unlike previous bills introduced over the past years H.R. 3129 would not be a government-run program.
“This is a free market opportunity where every single American would be able to buy into the healthcare plan of their choice. If it’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield, if it’s an HSA, or if it is a private account that they would choose to be a part of, it is not a government-run program,” Sessions said. “It is a completely free market and will allow every single American to have coverage that includes the 10 best leading edge ideas that would be important for people to be covered underneath the law on a moving forward basis.”
“It provides families with a chance to have literally the same coverage that someone who worked for the largest companies in America has. It is a model that is based upon you being a part of a group plan rather than an individual package, and it’s something that would be sustainable,” Sessions said. “It’s something that you can, no matter who your employer is, whether you’re self-employed or not employed, that you would be able to keep and have until such time as you moved into Medicare or some other kind of plan that you preferred.”
According to data, a significant number of the estimated 27.5 million individuals in the US without health insurance are employed, non-elderly adults from low-income families.
In Bryan, the Health for All Clinic, led by Elizabeth Dickey, provides healthcare services for the uninsured. She says the current system is in need of significant reform.
“It’s a problem that first and foremost, and unfortunately, our state is still leading the number and percentage of uninsured. We haven’t figured out a system that appropriately addresses the need, and unfortunately, I personally believe that our current system is broken and we’ve gotta do something different,” said Dickey.
While it’s too early in the legislative process Dickey says it’s good that conversations about healthcare are taking place.
“I feel like the concept is strong. The fact that we want to ensure people have the right to access the quality of care that they need in the appropriate setting, and the fact that we want more transparency on cost and we wanna keep costs down. I feel like all of those things are, are good goals to have,’ Dickey said.
As proposed, Sessions says the legislation would provide a significant benefit for families participating.
“It would give a family of four that is not receiving coverage today, $4,000 for each adult. That would be $4,000, in one case for a husband, $4,000 for a wife, and $2,000 for each child. That would be allowed where the family could allocate that to any insurance program that they wanted if it were an HSA or a regular, what might be called Blue Cross and Blue Shield, just like I have as, as a retiree and did have as a retiree for Congress,” said Rep. Sessions. “All government employees have the same benefit and so they would have exactly the same benefits as a person who worked for a large company.”
Leaders with the nonprofits Americans for Prosperity and the Goodman Institute have expressed their support for the proposed legislation.
“We are proud to endorse this bill because it offers American families a Personal Option in health care — sensible reforms that ensure lower prices, less hassle, and more personal choice and control, without new taxes,” said Dean Clancy, Senior Health Policy Fellow at Americans for Prosperity. “The Healthcare Fairness for All Act will make health care dramatically fairer by giving every American access to a generous new subsidy that lets you tailor your health benefits to your individual needs — and then take them with you when you change jobs.”
“The Health Care Fairness for All Act is a much-needed transformation of the U.S. healthcare system,” said John Goodman, President and CEO of the Goodman Institute. “Americans should get the health care they need when they need it, and from the providers that meet their needs. For millions of Americans, health insurance is unaffordable and inaccessible.”
On Wednesday the bill was referred to the House - Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; Education and the Workforce committees.
“We will roll this out in the first week of June. We will be getting people all across the country who will not only become aware of this but be given an opportunity to support the bill and encourage their members of Congress to support it,” Sessions said.
This is a developing story. KBTX will update this story as new information is independently confirmed or verified by our newsroom.
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