Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is also a physician, introduced a bill this week that would replace the Affordable Care Act and includes some provisions that would help fellow doctors.
“You won’t find anyone else more determined than this physician to repeal ObamaCare right away,” Paul wrote in a letter to The Wall Street Journal that outlines provisions of his replacement bill. “We should not slow down repeal but rather speed up replacement.”
The senator says his legislation would replace the ACA with a plan that delivers more options, better care and lower costs, and said there is no excuse for legislators to not vote on a replacement plan the same day they repeal the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law. It’s unclear if his bill will have enough support among fellow Republicans to become the actual replacement plan, but it could be a model for a future law, according to a Fox Business report.
The bill, which Paul described in an announcement, would repeal key ACA provisions and includes some proposals he says would empower physicians. For example, the bill would amend the tax code to allow physicians a tax deduction for charity medical care or uncompensated care due to bad debt. Under Paul's proposal, physicians would be allowed to write off up to 10% of their gross income in a given year to compensate them. The bill would also allow independent physicians to join together to negotiate with private insurers for higher quality healthcare for their patients, Rand said. Such action is now prohibited by federal antitrust laws.
Like Paul, President Donald Trump has promised simultaneous action to repeal and replace the ACA. He has said he will unveil a plan with insurance “for everybody" as soon as the Senate confirms Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also a physician, as his choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
A survey of primary care physicians release this week found just 15% are in favor of a total repeal of the ACA, which could leave millions of Americans without health insurance, but almost three-quarters are open to changes in the law.