WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed August 22, 2012
Kentucky's Senators Provide Some Details about What They Want To Replace Healthcare Law
Kentucky's two U.S. Senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, are some of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act. The two co-headlined a Tea Party rally in Frankfort Tuesday to protest the health care law. During the rally, Paul said he wants to not only repeal the law, but replace it with a different one.
Other Republicans have taken a similar stance, but the details behind the Republicans' preferred approach are largely unknown.
In a separate event after the rally, Paul and McConnell shed some light on what reforms they would actually like to see, while maintaining the repeal of the current law must come first.
"We need to do things like interstate health insurance competitions, things like medical malpractice reform, things that target the cost. Because the high cost of health insurance is the reason many people don't have it," says McConnell.
It's unclear whether McConnell would support multi-state health exchanges, which are similar to the single-state exchanges set up under the current healthcare law.
As for Paul, he says he would like to see bigger changes to the entire system. Most notably, Paul wants multi-year insurance policies.
"So I'd like to be able to, when you're 22 and you leave home for college and you're going to be on your own, I'd like you to be able to buy a 30 year health insurance policy, that if you get sick doesn't change in price. And I think we'd be able to do this if we expanded the use of HSAs," he says.
An HSA is a health savings account, which holds money to be used on medical expenses. Many employers offer HSAs as part of their employee coverage plans, then pay into those accounts.
The downside to HSAs is they usually accompany plans with high deductibles for routine doctor visits.
Paul, who is also an eye doctor, says a multi-year HSA plan would be beneficial for younger adults who aren't often sick or don't need expensive surgeries.
Neither senator says those reforms will be all they would like to see, but they haven't gone into further detail.