FACT SHEET: The Optimist’s Guide to Repeal and Replace

Patient-Centered Health-Care Reform for the 21st-Century

The Problem: According to the CBO, spending on Medicare and Medicaid is pulling America towards a debt-fueled economic collapse and, unless reformed, the programs will implode, thus depriving the neediest in our society of a crucial safety net.

Moreover, the President’s healthcare law has made things worse by increasing the cost of care and adding to the national debt.   

  • From the speech: “At its core, the health care problem is one of inflation, driven by the overutilization of services, dramatic underpayments, and massive inefficiency.”

The Solution: Repeal the new healthcare law and reform our healthcare entitlements with patient-centered, market-driven solutions so that the next generation is assured a safety net and the country avoids a financial catastrophe.

  • From the speech: “Choice and competition are critical to controlling costs throughout the health-care system, while improving quality for patients. And yet, across the federal landscape, choice and competition are undermined by poorly designed programs and tax policies.”

With healthcare, the defining choice for Americans is a choice between who is in charge: The government or the patient?

From the speech: “We should empower patients, not only with resources and choices, but also with information. Patient-centered reform must promote transparency on price and quality – and give patients the incentives to act on this information. By putting the power into the hands of individuals, we can let competition work in health care just as it does everywhere else.

Instead of top-down price controls imposed by 15 bureaucrats at IPAB, let’s try bottom-up competition driven by 300 million consumers.”

Three Principles of Patient-Centered Healthcare Reform:

  • Premium Support for Medicare: Empowering patients, not bureaucrats, is critical to controlling costs:

    • “…the government reimburses all providers of care according to a one-size-fits-all formula, even if the quality of the care they provide is poor and the cost is high. This top-down delivery system exacerbates waste, because none of the primary stakeholders has a strong incentive to deliver the best-quality care for the lowest cost.”

  • Medicaid Block Grants to State Governments: Secure the Medicaid benefit by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant tailored to meet each state’s needs, indexed for inflation and population growth.

    • We should empower states to “design Medicaid programs that meet the unique needs of their citizens, such as providing vouchers to low-income families, so they may have the dignity of having private insurance just like everyone else.”

  • Patient-centered Tax Reform: Empower patients with portable health insurance plans

    • “…[Replace] the inefficient tax treatment of employer-provided health care with a portable, refundable tax credit that you can take with you from job to job, allowing you to hang onto your insurance even during those tough times when a job might be hard to find.

View full remarks here.