A book published by the Independent Institute is the source of key provisions in the new, bicameral HELP Act—short for “Health Empowerment Liberty Plan”—a bill that two members of Congress presented at a Capitol Hill news conference on May 23. One of the sponsors of the bill, House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) called it “The World’s Greatest Health Care Bill. Ever.” The Senate sponsor is Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who is also a physician.
Based on ideas from the book A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, written by Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, the HELP Act promises to help consumers purchase health insurance by providing every adult with a uniform tax credit worth $2,500, regardless of his or her income. The plan allows consumers and employers options to add to that base tax credit.
“The HELP Act proposal is the freest enterprise reform ever introduced in the US Congress,” said Goodman. “It minimizes and streamlines the role of the federal government and eliminates perverse incentives caused by federal tax and spending policies and unwise regulations.”
In A Better Choice, Goodman argues that ending the Obamacare mandates and subsidies and adopting a uniform tax credit (equal to the cost to Medicaid of a new enrollee) would also yield other important benefits, such as ending the incentives that have caused many employers to keep payrolls small, lay off workers, or rely more on temporary workers.
“With a universal tax credit, all these problems go away,” Goodman writes in the book.
Goodman’s book also recommends other reforms to vastly improve America’s healthcare system, including converting all the various medical savings accounts into a more consumer-friendly Roth Health Savings Accounts; allowing everyone the right to buy Medicaid or opt out of it and to use the savings to buy private insurance; and encouraging insurers to offer plans that cover changes in a consumer’s health status.
John C. Goodman, Ph.D. (“The Father of Health Savings Accounts”—The Wall Street Journal) has written extensively on healthcare policy for more than three decades. Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, a non-profit research and educational organization that offers non-partisan solutions to important social and economic problems, he is president of the Goodman Institute.
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