Senate Republicans pitch ObamaCare alternative on eve of presidential address

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from FoxNews,

Seizing on the public’s continued anxiety over the ObamaCare rollout, a trio of Republican senators on Monday unveiled a sweeping alternative proposal they say would gut the law’s mandates and taxes while preserving consumer protections.

Sens. Orrin Hatch, of Utah; Tom Coburn, of Oklahoma; and Richard Burr, of North Carolina, announced their plan one day before President Obama delivers his State of the Union address. It is his first such address since the launch of the state and federal health care exchanges.

The GOP proposal, dubbed the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment Act, would repeal the president’s marquee legislative achievement while instituting new reforms the senators say would give states and individuals more flexibility and purchasing power.

“Americans deserve a real alternative, and a way out,” Coburn said.

Under the plan, insurances companies would not be able to impose lifetime limits on patients and would be required to allow dependent coverage up to the age of 26, as ObamaCare currently does. The Republican proposal would address the issue of pre-existing conditions by creating a new “continuous coverage” standard that would prevent any individual moving from one insurance plan to another from being denied on the basis of a pre-existing condition so long as that individual was continuously enrolled in a health plan.

The requirements on individuals to buy insurance, and on mid-sized and large businesses to provide it, would be repealed.

Senate aides describing the proposal acknowledged there’s little chance of movement in the current Congress, where Democrats control the Senate and have resisted all Republican-led House attempts to repeal or chip away at ObamaCare. Still, the aides said they hope continued public dissatisfaction with the way the law is being implemented might shore up the efforts of Hatch, Coburn and Burr. A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that while negative perceptions of the new exchanges have eased, 66 percent of Americans say the rollout is not going well.

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