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Yesterday, thanks to the efforts of House Policy Committee Chairman John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the "Health Care Choice Act," which is a first step towards lowering health care costs and helping increase the number of insured Americans.
The "Health Care Choice Act"-- H.R. 2355 -- is sponsored by Chairman John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), has 68 House co-sponsors, and is supported by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) sponsors a companion bill, S.1015, in the Senate. Both bills would allow Americans to purchase their heath care from any state in the country, rather than being limited to the state in which they live.
FreedomWorks urges the House to quickly pass the "Health Care Choice Act" and help lower the cost of coverage for the insured and the 45 million Americans living without health insurance.
Chairman John Shadegg’s office reports that in 1965, there were less than 10 state benefit mandates, while today, there are more than 1,800. This has created a market where neighboring states may have vastly different rates. For instance, in New Jersey the average cost for a single person is over $4,000 a year, but Pennsylvania has medial insurance for $1,500 a year. This act would allow someone in New Jersey to purchase their insurance from a company in Pennsylvania and save $2,500 a year.
The reason for the great disparity is that different states require different coverage. For example required coverage in some states includes wigs (7 states), acupuncturists (11), marriage therapists (11), massage therapists (4), and osteopaths (24). While extensive coverage may be desired by some, many Americans may prefer to not pay for such coverage, or may not be able to afford it.
According to FreedomWorks Policy Director, Max Pappas, "The Heath Care Choice Act would allow someone in Virginia who did not want to pay for the state’s 58 mandated categories of coverage to save money by buying insurance in Idaho, where there are only 13 mandated categories."
Pappas continued: "The Health Insurance Choice Act removes obstacles that are pricing 45 million Americans out of the market. We commend Chairman Shadegg, Senator DeMint, the 68 co-sponsors, and Denis Hastert’s effort to improve a health insurance system that is unaffordable for millions of Americans."
"This policy change would bring the country closer to consumer driven health care, where consumers can chose the policies with benefits they really need and not be forced to pay for things they do not need."