Feb 06, 2017

What They’re Saying About Freedom Partners’ New Strategy Memo Outlining Targeted Solutions for Health Care Reform

Post by Freedom Partners

As Congress moves ahead with repealing Obamacare, Freedom Partners has released a strategy memo outlining a series of patient-centered health care reforms that will increase access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

Freedom Partners has long warned that following the failed approach of Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi via a second massive health care bill would open the door to “Obamacare-lite,” which is why trying to simply replace Obamacare with another giant piece of legislation would be a mistake.

That’s why we’re advocating an approach that fully repeals Obamacare – including its harmful regulations and mandates – and begins work on targeted, patient-centered reforms with the goal of providing all Americans with access to affordable, quality health care.

The New Memo Maps Out “A Menu Of Policy Options For Reform And A Strategy To Push The Legislation Through Congress”

THE HILL: “Freedom Partners Has Begun Circulating A Memo On Capitol Hill With Specific Reforms It Thinks Lawmakers Should Pass.” The memo includes “the creation of high-risk pools at the state level to cover people with pre-existing conditions; the elimination of the ObamaCare mandate, which required everyone buy insurance or pay a penalty; and the expansion of access to health savings accounts, so people can save and pay for healthcare with pre-tax dollars.” (Jessie Hellman, “Koch-Backed Group Details Hopes For Healthcare Reform,” The Hill, 1/30/17)

POLITICO: “Freedom Partners Pushing High-Risk Pools, Medicaid Freeze”: “The conservative advocacy group Freedom Partners is circulating a list of health care policies it believes should be considered as Republicans try to coalesce around an Obamacare replacement package,” (Dan Diamond, Politico Pulse, Politico, 1/30/17)

FOX NEWS: Freedom Partners “Pushes Patient-Centered Health Policies On Capitol Hill.” (Chris Stirewalt, “Halftime Report,” Fox News, 1/31/27)

REAL CLEAR POLITICS: The Memo Maps Out “A Menu Of Policy Options For Reform And A Strategy To Push The Legislation Through Congress.” (Rebecca Berg, “Koch Network Emboldened Yet Wary About Trump,” RealClearPolitics, 1/29/17)

MORNING CONSULT: “First Look: The Conservative Group Freedom Partners Is Circulating A Memo On Capitol Hill Today with specific reforms the conservative group thinks should be included in an ACA replacement, including high-risk pools for patients with pre-existing conditions and repealing the law’s mandates.” (Mary Ellen McIntire, “Health Brief: GOP Concerned About Push To Repeal ACA Quickly,” Morning Consult, 1/30/17)

Freedom Partners’ Approach Features Targeted Solutions That Address Specific Problems With America’s Health Care System

“Among The Group’s Recommendations Are Elimination Of The ACA Mandate, More State Control Over The Marketplace, Use Of High-Risk Pools At The State Level And Increased Use Of Health Savings Accounts.” (Kathleen Gilbert, “Koch Brothers Push Targeted Reforms To Replace The ACA,” Healthcare Dive, 1/31/17)

“A Major Theme Of The Proposed Plan Is State-Based Solutions.” “Key elements include reinstatement of state high-risk pools and conversion of state exchanges to high-risk pools in order to provide an affordable option for those with pre-existing conditions. In addition, the group advocates for the restoration of regulatory power to the states and allowing them to implement innovative solutions without federal approval.” (Kathleen Gilbert, “Koch Brothers Push Targeted Reforms To Replace The ACA,” Healthcare Dive, 1/31/17)

Additional State-Based Solutions Include: “Streamlining FDA approval processes, eliminating certificate of need laws, having states reform medical malpractice, giving non-physician clinicians expanded privileges and removing barriers that affect primary care physicians and telemedicine.” (Kathleen Gilbert, “Koch Brothers Push Targeted Reforms To Replace The ACA,” Healthcare Dive, 1/31/17)

“At The Top Of The Group’s Wish List: Establishing High-Risk Pools To Cover Individuals With Costly, Chronic Medical Conditions.” Freedom Partners is also calling for the coverage requirements of Obamacare to be scrapped, giving states complete regulatory authority over health plans. Other policies being pushed by the Koch brothers-funded group: an immediate freeze on Medicaid expansion and greater use of health-savings accounts. Read the complete list of policy priorities here.” (Dan Diamond, Politico Pulse, Politico, 1/30/17)

“Freedom Partners Also Recommends An Immediate Freeze Of The Medicaid Expansion, With No New Enrollees Added Who Don’t Qualify Under Pre-ObamaCare Standards.” “The group suggests the use of block grants or a per-capita cap on funding to give states “maximum flexibility,” though critics argue such a move would cut funding and benefits for Medicaid.” (Jessie Hellman, “Koch-Backed Group Details Hopes For Healthcare Reform,” The Hill, 1/30/17)

“The Recommendations Fall In Line With What Top Republicans In Congress Have Indicated They Support.” (Jessie Hellman, “Koch-Backed Group Details Hopes For Healthcare Reform,” The Hill, 1/30/17)

A Targeted Strategy Helps Ensure That Congress Thoroughly Debates These Much-Needed Reforms And Solutions

“The Koch Groups Will Recommend That Remaining Changes Be Proposed In Bite-Sized Pieces Of Legislation, Rather Than As One Comprehensive Package.” (Rebecca Berg, “Koch Network Emboldened Yet Wary About Trump,” RealClearPolitics, 1/29/17)

“Suggesting That Another Large Bill Could Be Just As Rife With Problems As The ACA To Be, The Group Claims That A Series Of Targeted Reforms Will Fix The Healthcare Problem One Issue At A Time.” (Kathleen Gilbert, “Koch Brothers Push Targeted Reforms To Replace The ACA,” Healthcare Dive, 1/31/17)

“We Don’t Want Another ‘Pass It To See What’s In It’ Situation,” said Andy Koenig, VP of policy for Freedom Partners, one of the groups — referring to the famous remark by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as she pressed House lawmakers to approve the Affordable Care Act.” (Rebecca Berg, “Koch Network Emboldened Yet Wary About Trump,” RealClearPolitics, 1/29/17)

Key Lawmakers In Congress Support Taking A Targeted, Step-By-Step Approach To Health Care Reform

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “Recently, GOP lawmakers in both chambers have suggested that they may seek to construct a new health-care system with a series of bills, rather than a single, sweeping package. ‘We plan to take on the replace challenge in manageable pieces with step-by-step reforms,’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said Thursday.” (Kristina Peterson and Louise Radnofsky, “Republicans Face Hurdles to Health-Law Pledge,” Wall Street Journal, 1/12/17)

House Speaker Paul Ryan: “His briefing began with a pledge for a ‘thoughtful, step-by-step process’ and a promise that Republicans would ‘not jam some bill through’ Congress.” (Paul Kane, “The GOP wants to repeal Obamacare in a fast-paced ‘rescue mission’ — but in a step-by-step process,” The Washington Post, 1/12/17)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “McCarthy also pledged to take a step-by-step approach to replacing the health law, telling Hewitt that the replacement package will give Americans greater choice for insurance coverage. He did not mention a specific target date in the interview. ‘One big thing I think people assuming Republicans will act like Democrats with a 2,000 page bill that no one knows what’s in it,’ he said. ‘We are doing just the opposite.’ (Adam Cancryn, “McCarthy pushing for Obamacare repeal by February,” Politico Pro, 1/11/17)

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden: “Walden took issue with the phrase “replacement” to describe what Republicans are doing to Obamacare, noting that such terms conjure an image of ‘a stack of paper this high, and there’s one vote.’ Republicans spent years lambasting Democrats for ramming through a 2,000 page health care law. ‘You’re not going to see that,’ he said. ‘You’re going to see us go through a piece at a time here because in part that’s what we said we would do … Replacement, in a lot of people’s minds, is the next Obamacare.’ (Kyle Cheney, Rachael Bade, “Obamacare attack dog to lead GOP effort to replace it,” Politico, 1/19/17)

Chairman Walden: “We’re Looking At Fixing This Mess A Brick At A Time. Piece By Piece. Taking Our Time To Get It Right.” (MJ Lee, “The GOP’s Incredible, Shrinking Obamacare Repeal, CNN, 2/2/17)

Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander: “Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the health committee, wants a three-step process to establish a timeline for repealing the law, making small changes and then allowing for Trump administration officials to take some regulatory steps that will help ‘bridge’ to the new law. Then Alexander wants a long period to write several more laws to replace Obamacare. ‘We will first send in a rescue crew to repair temporarily a collapsing health-care market so no one else is hurt,’ Alexander said during Senate debate. ‘Then, step by step, we will build better systems that give Americans access to truly affordable health care.’ (Paul Kane, “The GOP wants to repeal Obamacare in a fast-paced ‘rescue mission’ — but in a step-by-step process,” The Washington Post, 1/12/17)

Sen. John Thune: “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the third-ranking Senate Republican, told reporters Monday that GOP members of the House, Senate and the incoming administration are having ongoing conversations as they formulate a ‘path forward’ for addressing the health-care law. ‘I would fully expect that a repeal vote could be followed by several proposals, many of which our members have been trying to get voted on for years. You might see this thing in a very step-by-step way as opposed to having one huge 2,700-page bill,’ Thune said.” (Sean Sullivan and Kelsey Snell, “Republicans scramble to ease concerns about Obamacare replacement,” The Washington Post, 1/10/17)

Sen. Thune Said The Senate Hoped To Work “Systematically, In A Step-By-Step Way.” (Michael Shear & Robert Pear, “From ‘Repeal’ to ‘Repair’: Campaign Talk on Health Law Meets Reality,” New York Times, 2/6/17)

Sen. Mike Lee: “It Would Be Folly To Assume That Whatever Comes Next Has To Be In One Giant Bill. … It’s Better To Look At This In Terms Of Bites At An Apple.” (Dave Weigel, “Conservatives In Congress Call For Obamacare Repeal ‘In The Next Few Months’,” Washington Post, 2/8/17)

Rep. Raul Labrador: “Others have laid out a timeline to replace the law next summer or later, after perhaps six to eight months of evaluating options. Rep. Raul Labrador, another Freedom Caucus member, cautioned against moving too quickly to fill the void that will be left after repealing the ACA. He said he expects Republicans to go through a full committee process to evaluate different replacement plans, saying that GOP lawmakers ‘need to be really careful that we don’t make the same mistakes that the Democrats made, that they ram-rodded something through the House.’ (James Arkin, “Congressional GOP and Trump Are in Sync — for Now,” RealClearPolitics, 11/21/16)