This week, Senator Jim DeMint will give his reply to Obamacare and it is sure to be a conservative reply as he is being backed by several stalwartly conservative organizations in the effort.
Groups like Americans for Tax Reform, Media Research Center, Americans for Prosperity, Conservatives for Patients’ Rights and Tea Party Patriots will all stand behind Senator DeMint's presentation in the Cannon Building in the House Budget Committee Hearing room on the Hill this Wednesday at noon.
DeMint has a full menu of items to propose and we have been informed that the list of issues that will be discussed will include:
- Do no harm, keep employer-based plans
- Vouchers of $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for a family will be proposed for those without insurance whether it be private or employer-based
- It will be proposed that health savings accounts should be able to be used for insurance premiums -- this is thought a great benefit for employers that want to drop their own plans
- A national market for health insurance will be proposed so that competition across state lines will improve choice for everyone
- Block grants to help states with their programs will be discussed, this will prevent guaranteed issued coverage and will also help federal mandates harder to impose
- Tort reform to reduce predatory and frivolous lawsuits is being considered, as will caps on awards. This will be closely related to Senator Ensign's malpractice law proposal
- Also, an option for individuals to leave their employer-based insurance plan and to choose a tax credit to pursue their own insurance will also be on the table
DeMint claims that these ideas will help 22.4 million currently uninsured Americans get healthcare coverage at lower costs. It will be cheaper and faster than the Kennedy plan currently finding such a tough road of it in the Senate. DeMint says this plan will save $310 billion over 5 years with the tax credit voucher proposal.
It will certainly be interesting to see where this proposal goes and if the media will give DeMint the attention he deserves. It will also be interesting to see if his Senate colleagues join him in his efforts.