Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he would introduce a bill to repeal Obamacare and replace it with his own set of reforms.
It appears to be the first comprehensive health care reform legislation that McCain has introduced during his three decades in Congress. It is composed of conservative pet policies, such as tax credits for individuals and tort reform to stem medical malpractice lawsuits. The bill comes as Republicans attempt to beat back criticism that they don’t have a viable alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
McCain boasted that Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the conservative American Action Forum and the chief economic advisor to his 2008 presidential campaign, had concluded that the bill would save taxpayers $2.37 trillion in its first decade.
A formal bill has not yet been filed, but McCain offered a description on the Senate floor and said it would be a companion to a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) in the House. The central tenet, tax credits for purchasing health coverage, was also included in McCain’s 2008 presidential platform.
His full description is below (preliminary transcript):
“This legislation that I’m introducing today makes the purchase of health care financially feasible for all Americans,” McCain said. “From deductions, to advanced refundable credits so that everyone has an economic incentive to purchase coverage they want for themselves and their families, not what the government forces them to buy.”
“In addition it allows greater choices in portability, so every health policy is owned by the patient regardless of who pays. This means the coverage would go with the person if they change or lose their job, it gives employers more flexibility in the benefits offered and provides many more coverage options for people with preexisting conditions so that no one is priced out of the market regardless of health status.”
“It addresses increasing costs by clamping down on abusive lawsuits, ends the practice of defensive medicine, gains significant savings from health care efficiencies, sifting out waste, fraud, and abuse and bringing our nation’s budget under control,” McCain continued.
“Finally, it establishes doctor-led quality measures ensuring that patients receive quality care defined by people that know medicine, not by government. It encourages healthier lifestyles by giving employers and health policies more flexibility to offer discounts for healthy habits, wellness and prevention programs.”