By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Seeking to prove the GOP is more than the party of "No," South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has come up with a healthcare reform plan that, he says, "Insures more Americans in half the time at no cost," when compared to the plan being pushed by the Democratic majority.
According to an estimate by the conservative Heritage Foundation, DeMint's bill will reduce the number of uninsured in America by 22.4 million people in just five years. And he addresses the cost by terminating the Troubled Asset Relief Program—also known as Wall Street Bailout No. 1—and requiring companies that took federal funds repay them within the same five years.
"Under the Health Care Freedom Plan, Americans would be able to keep the care they have now," DeMint said, contrasting his approach with the "public option" idea being pushed by the White House that some critics say would ultimately destroy the private insurance market. Anyone without insurance or who dislikes their current plan, DeMint says, could, under his plan, "access a voucher to purchase health insurance anywhere in the country. This will create a true, competitive market for health care that will lower costs and increase quality."
DeMint's Health Care Freedom Plan, the senator's office says:
"All Americans should have access to health insurance that they can afford, own, and keep - and that the government can never take over or take away," DeMint said in a release announcing his effort. "No American should be forced into a government-run system that limits their choices and rations their care. Democrats' answer to every crisis is more and more government, but there is a better way that puts patients first, not bureaucrats. By giving all Americans choice and access to the same tax benefits we give to people through their employers, we can cover more uninsured Americans than the Democrat plan, in half the time, and at no additional cost to taxpayers."
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