GOP Health Care Plan Will Deliver More Choice, Lower Costs: Thompson

By Health Care FOXBusiness

Tommy Thompson on GOP health care bill: You can pick the plan that you want

Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Despite a government report indicating millions of Americans would lose coverage under the GOP health care plan, former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said the plan will ultimately give consumers both coverage--and choices. 

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“Insurance companies will be able to come in nationally and be able to offer a lot cheaper plans, a lot more plans and you are going to be able to decide as a consumer, as an individual, what is the best plan for me?,” Thompson said in an interview on Mornings with Maria.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday released its report on the Republican replacement plan for Obamacare, finding the plan would shrink the federal deficit by $337 billion over the next decade, but also increase the number of uninsured by 14 million next year.

“We’re not going to have one-size-fits-all.  Instead, we’re going to be working to unleash the power of the private marketplace to let insurers come in and compete for your business.  And you’ll see rates go down, down, down, and you’ll see plans go up, up, up.  You’ll have a lot of choices,” President Trump said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Thompson said the GOP health care plan may go through different reiterations and will be marked up as it gets passed by the House and onto the Senate.

“There’s going to be a lot of ways to change it and that 14 million figure of people that are not going to have insurance is going to be completely less and it will probably be an area that there’s going to be more people that’s going to be cover in the long run,” he said.

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The former Governor of Wisconsin said the American Health Care Act will provide an individual choice to select a plan, while opening up the insurance market to provide health care options at a lower cost.

“Insurance companies will be able to come in nationally and be able to offer a lot cheaper plans, a lot more plans and you are going to be able to decide as a consumer, as an individual, what is the best plan for me?,” former Gov.  Thompson said.

According to the Governor, the GOP health care plan is part of what he calls a “three-legged stool” plan that provides more choices for individuals in the long run.

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First, the reconciliation rule will limit what House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republicans can accomplish with the first bill. Secondly, Health and Human Services Secretary Thom Price will have the power to make the laws and rules a lot more competitive. Lastly, the third bill won’t be restricted by the reconciliation rule once it’s passed by the House and Senate which will allow more competition and individuals to buy insurance across state lines.

“Being able to have you be able to decide with the insurance company what is the best package for you. That’s the nirvana, that’s where Paul Ryan and the Republicans want to get to,” Thompson said.

Thompson said one of the features of the GOP health care plan is to have fewer people dependent on government run health insurance. However, critics of the GOP health care plan say allowing more people into the Medicaid program could be considered more of a government handout. 

“There is no question that you can make that argument,” Thomson told host Maria Bartiromo. “But it also got a cap on it and there’s never been a cap on Medicaid before and so all of this goes into play. You gotta wait until the final thing.”

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