SWAP ACT - Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) today introduced the Siding With America's Patients (SWAP) Act. The SWAP Act will repeal the government health care takeover and replace it with the text from H.R. 3400 - a patient-centered and affordable solution that expands access and continues to cover pre-existing conditions.
Bill language can be found at swap_act
CMS Report just released that confirms increased costs: here
ISSUE UPDATE: As debate over health care reform heats up in Congress, House Republicans are offering positive solutions to help American families and small businesses afford quality health care coverage while avoiding a government takeover of our health care system. For a summary of the House Republican health care plan, please click here.
I recently posted a quick video about the ongoing health care debate in Congress. To view the video, click here.
For the text of the Democrat health care bill (HR 3200), please click here.
For the text of the Republican Study Committee health care bill (HR 3400), please click here.
Access to affordable, high-quality health care is a challenge for many South Carolina families. That is why I remain committed to making health care affordable for all American families. Toward this end, I will continue working for the expansion of Association Health Plans, Health Savings Accounts, and new innovative technologies to rein in the cost of health care.
I currently support several innovative initiatives which help address many of the challenges facing healthcare in our country:
- Relief and Incentives: We should immediately provide tax relief and incentives for individuals to afford health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions and for small businesses to provide coverage for their employees.
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Americans who set up Health Savings Accounts along with the purchase of a low-cost, high-deductible healthcare plan can save money tax-free to pay routine medical expenses and future health care costs. HSAs are also crucial because they are portable. When Americans change jobs, many insurance plans do not shift to the new position. HSAs move with you allowing for more worker flexibility.
- Association Health Plans (AHPs): AHPs enable small employers and others to provide better and more affordable healthcare coverage options for their employees, like those that many large employers and labor unions can offer. AHPs would allow bona-fide business or professional associations and other groups that have existed for at least three years for purposes other than providing health benefits, to pool their members together to purchase health coverage. AHPs will make health coverage more accessible and affordable by creating a level playing field for small businesses through greater bargaining power and administrative efficiencies. By grouping small employers together to purchase coverage, AHPs will be able to act more like large employers and labor unions and offer lower cost coverage to employers, employees and their families.
- Medical Liability Reform: Because of excessive litigation and enormous payouts, the cost of liability insurance has risen more than 10 percent in recent years. Common-sense reforms to medical liability law that still protect patients will increase access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans, while reducing frivolous and time-consuming legal proceedings against doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers. Unchecked lawsuits drive good providers out of local communities across the country and raise health care costs for all Americans.
- Promoting Competition: Greater competition in our healthcare industry would lower prices and produce a better product for American families. Unfortunately, there are a number of impediments that stand in the way of strong competition and more opportunities for the patient and the physician. One place we can address this problem is in the sale of health insurance across state lines. I am proud to support legislation – such as the Health Care Choice Act – which would remove the unnecessary obstacles that stand in the way of allowing Americans to review and purchase insurance policies outside of their own state.
- Healthcare Information Technology: Hospitals and clinics deal with millions of individual health care records. This personal information needs to be protected but it also needs to be accessible to your physicians. Increased use of technology in the collection and maintenance of medical records will help reduce costs and the possibility for mistakes that occur when physicians do not have access to the necessary information.
Americans deserve affordable health care, and we can make that a reality if we focus on patient-centered solutions not greater government interference.
For more information, I encourage you to visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.