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Paul Ryan Explains The Patients' Choice Act

Name: YouTube


Paul Ryan

Name: Paul Ryan

Employment: U.S. House of Representatives

Position: Congressman

Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Name: Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.


"What we're doing here today, is we're showing that American can have a system of universal health care access, without the government running it. The Patient Choice Act shows how to give all Americans access to affordable coverage, where the patients and the doctors are in charge, not the government. The current tax treatment of health care, which is a relic of World War II, discriminates against the self-employed, against the unemployed, and against those people who do not get health coverage at their jobs. This may have worked in America, when everybody had the same jobs throughout their lives, and throughout their careers. That's not the America we have today.

A lot of people change their jobs. So the tax benefit should change and go with them, and not be attached to their jobs. We want to address job lock. So, they key question that ought to be addressed in any health care reform legislation, is are we going to continue job lock, or are we going to allow individuals more choice, and portability to fit the 21st century workforce? We propose to equalize the tax treatment of health care, giving every American, regardless of employment status, the ability to purchase health insurance, and if you've like what you've got, you can keep it. If you like what you have at your job, you can keep it and apply your tax benefit to that. This will result for a vast majority of Americans in a net tax cut.

We propose to replace this discriminatory tax exclusion with advanceable, refundable tax credit of $2,300 per individual and $5,700 per family. It's a concept that was previously championed by top economic advisers in the Obama administration. The Patient's Choice Act transforms our broken health care system. With perverse incentives and skyrocketing costs, into a vibrant health care market where individuals and families reclaim ownership of their coverage and ownership of their health care decisions.

As I mentioned, if you like what you've got, you can keep it, and you'll probably end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the day. For non-taxpayers, for those whom the credit is advanceable and refundable, we provide a credit in the same amount, but the funding for the credit is generated by savings and entitlement programs. On top of that, Medicaid and SCHIP populations will get additional assistance to cover out-of-pocket costs. This removes the stigma associated with second-class health care that the Medicaid population is experiencing today.

Right now, those folks on Medicaid are going into the doctor's office and being denied. They are going through health care with a second-class system. We want to give them the dignity of private health insurance that everybody else in America is enjoying and that everybody should enjoy in America.

Medicaid families would get the same $5,700 tax credit available to the rest of the population in addition to a supplemental card with up to $5,000, so up to $10,700 for low-income families to pay for health care coverage. The ongoing debate with taxes in health care represents a clear difference between the two approaches here in Washington.

The president and the Democrats discuss tax reform as a means to get greater revenues into Washington with the idea that the federal government knows best. Their government-centric approach will require massive tax increases, seeking to chase ever-higher spending with ever-higher taxes.

We believe in a patient-centered model and we remain firmly committed to directing the resources and the decision-making power with individuals. You see, we already spend twice as much per person on health care in America than all of the other industrialized countries.

The answer is not a massive new tax increase and massive new spending programs. The answer is to take the money we're already spending and spend it far more efficiently, far more effectively, to reflect the dynamics of the 21st century so that the center of this system is not politicians and bureaucrats making the decisions, the center of this system is patients and their doctors making the decisions."
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