The bill is cosponsored by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and David Vitter (R-LA). Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 543.
"Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed," said Sen. Cruz. "And while we continue that fight, we must also send bill after bill to the President's desk to stop its harmful effects. The Health Care Choice Act will reduce costs, force insurers to compete for business and empower consumers to choose a health plan that meets their needs.
"The Administration has done absolutely nothing to prepare for an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could leave millions of Americans unable to afford insurance thanks to this failed law. Republicans must offer the American people alternatives that lower costs and break the status quo that favors big government and big health care business over hardworking Americans. The Health Care Choice Act is one step in that direction.
"This bill is a true market-based reform that will make health insurance more personal and affordable, giving consumers the freedom to select plans that fit their needs, anywhere from Alaska to Texas to Vermont."
Congressman Blackburn added: "Government-run health care has been foisted on the American public. Obamacare has promised a lot to millions of people - with no ability to deliver affordable medical care. That broken promise will be challenged in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Administration, these millions of people will be stuck with unaffordable health insurance and no guarantee of actual medical care. Sen. Cruz has offered help to these folks. I applaud his effort and I am pleased to see my legislation, H.R. 543, the Health Care Choice Act was included in this bill."
The Health Care Choice Act repeals Title I of Obamacare, which includes the law's most egregious insurance mandates that have caused premiums and out-of-pocket expenses to skyrocket while degrading the quality of Americans' health care choices. The act also amends the Public Health Service Act to provide that insurance policies approved and sold in one state (designated the "primary state") may be allowed to be sold in any other state (i.e. "secondary state") but only if the health plan and insurer comply with certain basic requirements of the secondary state. Some of these requirements include:
- Paying (nondiscriminatory) premium taxes; providing copies of the plan of operation or a feasibility study; written notice of any change in its designation of its primary state and a quarterly financial statement.
- Consumer protections such as complying with the secondary state's fraud and abuse and delinquency requirements.