Westerman, Braun Introduce Bicameral Fair Care Act of 2020

October 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced the Fair Care Act of 2020 in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. U.S. Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) and Lloyd Smucker (R-Penn.) joined the bill as original cosponsors.

“It’s no secret that America’s health care system is broken,” Westerman said. “In a world of 24-hour news cycles and inflammatory headlines, the political divide surrounding health care is only getting deeper. We aim to change that. Contrary to popular belief, Republicans do have a health care plan. The Fair Care Act of 2020 would give Americans more coverage choices at lower costs, including those with preexisting conditions. Yes, it’s all possible! This legislation stems from years of research and conversations I’ve had with constituents, members of Congress, policy professionals and others. Health care doesn’t have to be an issue that divides us. The Fair Care Act is proof, just look at the 75 bipartisan provisions we included. We are ready to come to the table and get every American the health care they need. I’m glad to have my colleagues supporting the Fair Care Act of 2020 in both chambers, and I look forward to moving it through the legislative process.”

“Affordable choices are extremely important for Americans when it comes to meeting their healthcare needs,” Burchett said. “If you like your current plan, you should be allowed to keep it. If you need to make changes, you should be allowed to explore what private and public markets have to offer. The Fair Care Act respects choice when it comes to Americans’ health insurance by removing barriers that keep healthcare costs high and creating more transparency in the American healthcare industry.”

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Fair Care Act, which will lower the cost of healthcare while increasing consumer choice and protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions,” Riggleman said. “Included in this bill is my proposal which moved protection for pre-existing conditions from the ACA to HIPAA. This will ensure that coverage continues and helps Americans across the nation.”

“I thank Rep. Westerman for his leadership and commitment to coming up with real solutions that will not only make the cost of health insurance more affordable, but also improve access to high quality care,” Smucker said. “I am proud to work with him on this legislation and I look forward to working to advance this bill.”

Background

The Fair Care Act of 2020 is the second version of the Fair Care Act of 2019, crafted with more than 75 bipartisan provisions.

Some of the Fair Care Act of 2020 health care improvements include:

  • Codifying the Affordable Care Act preexisting condition protections in HIPPA.
  • Offering greater protections for patients with preexisting conditions through an “Invisible Guaranteed Coverage Risk Pool” and guaranteed coverage Medigap plans.
  • Eliminating the employer health insurance mandate and allowing those with Employer Sponsored Insurance (ESI) offers to receive premium assistance.
  • Strengthening and increasing enrollment in the commercial marketplace through expanded assistance to 600 percent FPL and state innovation waivers.
  • Expanding the use of pretax dollars to cover more medical expenses, including insurance premiums and direct primary care arrangements.
  • Promoting transparency by publishing provider networks and prices for common services.
  • Requiring medical providers to send timely, transparent bills to patients.
  • Discouraging hospital consolidation and anti-competitive behavior while protecting rural hospitals from closures.
  • Modernizing the prescription drug approval process to bring safe, effective medicine to patients faster.
  • Reforming Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) practices, including eliminating Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees.
  • Expanding the number of health professionals that can provide telehealth services.
  • Modernizing Medicare enrollment through a competitive bidding process, which promotes Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Establishing a flexible Medicaid funding option for states and closing the gap between Medicaid eligibility and premium assistance in the individual market.
  • Promoting fiscal accountability and solvency for Medicare and Medicaid.

For more information on the legislation, click here. To read the full bill text, click here. A bill summary and detailed explainer are also available.

###

Issues: