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Letter


NTU Urges Support of H.R. 371, the “Health Care Choice Act of 2011.”
An Open Letter to Representative Blackburn

September 26, 2011

The Honorable Marsha Blackburn
United States House of Representatives
217 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Blackburn:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of H.R. 371, the “Health Care Choice Act of 2011.” By repealing the top-down mandates contained in Title 1 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and instead promoting the growth of functional markets by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance from out-of-state providers, this legislation would greatly expand health care options and reduce costs for consumers.

Title 1 of PPACA contained a plethora of damaging provisions such as the individual mandate, employer mandate, and insurance exchanges. This complicated bureaucratic and regulatory framework created further distortions in the market for health care insurance. Your bill would eliminate Title 1 in order to create a fertile ground in which a more responsive private market can truly grow and thrive.

The Health Care Choice Act would then plant the seed of successful reform by opening up restricted state markets and allowing consumers to shop for health insurance across state lines. Currently, state-imposed requirements force insurers to offer policies with mandatory benefit levels, offered procedures, or providers, which prevents individuals from purchasing a plan that meets their specific health needs. They also lead to wide variations in the cost of health care plans. For instance, Georgia’s 45 government-dictated insurance mandates raise the average cost of an individual policy to $163 per month, while the average in neighboring Alabama is $126 per month. Yet, current law constructs an artificial barrier that prevents citizens from seeking these lower-cost policies.

H.R. 371 would remove this barrier and harness the power of the marketplace in three important ways. By giving access to a broader range of plans, consumers will have more choices at lower costs. By spurring competition among policymakers, states will be incentivized to create the most consumer-friendly regulatory structure possible. Finally, by creating a robust, nationwide health insurance market, the Health Care Choice Act will promote efficiency of scale and innovative business models.

NTU strongly supports the use of patient-driven free markets rather than government meddling to reduce the cost of health insurance for Americans. Therefore, as implementation of PPACA’s Title I looms closer, we encourage all House Members to work toward passage of this important piece of legislation.

Sincerely,

Brandon Greife
Federal Government Affairs Manager