The 60 Second Update with

Congressman Paul Ryan

1. How would the Patients' Choice Act restructure healthcare in America?

 

The Patients’ Choice Act represents a fiscally-responsible, patient-centered health care reform alternative to the Majority’s Washington-centered overhaul.  It begins not with an attempt to destroy the excellence found in most of our country’s medical care, but rather focuses on what’s broken.

 

This legislation (H.R. 2520) transforms health care in America by strengthening the relationship between the patient and the doctor; using choice and competition rather than rationing and restrictions to contain costs; and ensuring universal, affordable health care for all Americans. The Patients’ Choice Act promotes innovative, State-based solutions, along with fundamental reforms in the tax code, to give every American, regardless of employment status, age, or health condition, the ability and the resources to purchase health insurance. The comprehensive legislation also includes concrete prevention and transparency initiatives as well as long overdue reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, medical malpractice, and more.

 

From all ends of the political spectrum, you’d be hard-pressed to find an economist that would defend the current tax treatment of health care.  Jason Furman, President Obama’s deputy economic advisor, has written, “Replacing the current tax preference for insurance with an income-related, refundable tax credit has the potential to expand coverage and reduce inefficient spending at no net federal cost.”  The current health care tax exclusion discriminates against millions of Americans and helps inflate the costs of health care.  Those in the highest tax brackets and those with the most generous insurance plans receive the largest tax benefits.  If you are self-employed, unemployed, or don’t get your coverage from your employer, the current tax code gives you nothing.

 

The Patients’ Choice Act would equalize the tax treatment of health benefits and provide all Americans with an advanceable, refundable tax credit to purchase quality, affordable health insurance.  The tax treatment of health care was poisoned with election year campaign politics and has been ‘taken off the table’, but it is a reform that we must revisit.

 

 Question 2. How much will this plan cost compared to Obama's?

 

Question 1  /  Questions 2 /  Question 3 /  Question 4 Question 5

 

Congressman Ryan is the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He represents the 1st District of Wisconsin. He is also the author of the comprehensive legislative plan,
A Roadmap for America's Future
.