Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 4, 2015

GOP Senators Release Obamacare Alternative

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hatch, above, Burr and Coburn released new health care legislation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, released legislation today that would repeal President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act and replace it with an overhaul of their own.

“The American people have found out what is in Obamacare — broken promises in the form of increased health care costs, costly mandates, and government bureaucracy. They don’t like it and don’t want to keep it,” Burr said in a release.

“We can lower costs and expand access to quality coverage and care by empowering individuals and their families to make their own health care decisions, rather than empowering the government to make those decisions for them,” Burr noted.

The bill comes after the GOP has pounded Obama and Democrats over the troubled rollout of the health care law, which resulted in some people losing their insurance due to cancellation of non-compliant plans and difficulty in signing up for insurance on

The bill also comes a day before the president’s State of the Union address. Republicans hope to use the fallout from the law, also known as Obamacare, against Democrats in the November elections.

The GOP plan notably would allow insurance companies to once again discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions — unless people maintain continuous coverage.

“So long as an individual, or family in the case of a family policy, has stayed continuously covered, they should not be forced to pay a higher premium solely because of a costly health condition when switching plans,” the summary said.

Republicans argue that the provisions in their bill are better than the individual mandate in Obamacare, which requires Americans to buy insurance in order to spread the costs among a larger pool and prohibit discrimination based on health.

“These alternative provisions strike the right balance between strongly encouraging individuals to become insured, while ensuring greater regulatory predictability and market stability, which in turn helps to keep health care costs down,” the summary said.

For the Republicans, keeping insurance is an issue of individual responsibility.

“This new consumer protection helps incentivize responsible behaviors by encouraging consumers to keep their health,” the summary continued.

The bill would also return oversight of health insurance to states and put in place some measures to smooth the transition, such as limiting the premiums of older people to no more than five times that of younger people.

“This … will have the effect of helping to immediately lower healthcare costs for millions of Americans,” according to a summary. The bill, however, has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

In the future, if a state finds the rule too restrictive, or not restrictive enough, it would just need to pass a law opting out of the provision for the plans it regulates.

The bill would also continue the provision in Obamacare allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26, but states could opt out by passing a law.

The bill would provide a tax credit to those who qualify to help them buy insurance.

The plans also would give states far more flexibility to reshape the state-federal Medicaid program — something Republicans have long sought but strongly criticized by Democrats for saving money on the backs of the poor.

“Congress has a responsibility to not only repeal this misguided law but replace it with a plan that will provide better care at a lower cost, and will help preserve programs like Medicaid instead of driving them closer to bankruptcy,” Coburn said.

“Forcing too many Americans out of the insurance they have, away from the doctor they trust and, for some, out of the job they need, Obamacare is a disaster,” said Hatch. “With our plan, we’ve shown once again that by empowering Americans — not Washington — with the right tools and information, they will make the best informed health care decisions for themselves.”

Democrats were not impressed by the GOP proposal.

“It took four years to come up with this? This is proof positive that Republicans do not believe in the fundamental right to health care,” a congressional Democratic aide said. “This plan might appeal to Republican donors, but it must scare the millions of Americans who would lose health insurance because of it.”

Comments (38)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. nkc3

    Jan. 27, 2014
    4:18 p.m.

    No protection for people with pre-existing conditions that aren’t already on their policies mean no security for anyone. In this age where job security is fleeting, and cobra insurance is unsustainably outrageous, it is nearly impossible for people to always be on a policy. This means you best not get a serious disease and if you do, don’t ever think about changing jobs.

    • thevet

      Jan. 27, 2014
      5:50 p.m.

      Why handle health insurance differently than auto insurance?

      • Guest

        Jan. 27, 2014
        5:58 p.m.

        Because there are millions of uninsured drivers who drive costs up for those of us who have insurance when they hit us. Not a good model to emmulate

        • thevet

          Jan. 27, 2014
          6:23 p.m.

          I question your “millions” figure – not the case in SC. Also, with auto insurance we have “preferred risk pools” – why not the same with health insurance?

  2. unStunned

    Jan. 27, 2014
    4:35 p.m.

    No mention here of “allowing” insurance companies to compete across state lines? What a peculiar and telling omission.

    And …
    deleting the protection for people pre-existing conditions;
    returning industry regulation to the easily-compromised/long-captured state;
    using tax breaks … to help poor people get insurance ???

    Obamacare needs improving, but this bill is nothing but another grim joke.

  3. johnblack45john

    Jan. 27, 2014
    5:20 p.m.

    lol. Do they actually think that this bill has a snowball’s chance in hell of passing? And why are they contradicting themselves.? they want greater regulatory restrictions while complaining that Obamacare has too many regulations. These people are one sick joke.

  4. Shellie Note

    Jan. 27, 2014
    6 p.m.

    “We can lower costs and expand access to quality coverage and care by
    empowering individuals and their families to make their own health care
    decisions, rather than empowering the government to make those decisions
    for them,” … unless you are a pregnant woman.

  5. Knour1945

    Jan. 28, 2014
    12:45 a.m.

    мʏ ƈօ-աօʀĸ­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀ’ѕ ѕт­­­­­­e­­­­­­ք-мօтн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀ мαĸ­­­­­­e­­­­­­ѕ $82/нʀ օɴ тн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ ιɴт­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀɴ­­­­­­e­­­­­­т. ѕн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ нαѕ в­­­­­­e­­­­­­­­­­­­e­­­­­­ɴ աιтнօυт α ʝօв ғօʀ 8 мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн н­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀ ιɴƈօм­­­­­­e­­­­­­ աαѕ $15515 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ ιɴт­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀɴ­­­­­­e­­­­­­т ғօʀ α ғ­­­­­­e­­­­­­ա нօυʀѕ. ʋιѕιт ʏօυʀ υʀʟ fox800&#46com

  6. Gyst53

    Jan. 28, 2014
    5:51 p.m.

    What about the poor living unhealthy lifestyles and we the taxpayer having to subsidize their unhealthy behavior?
    The Insurance companies and healthcare Providers are still taking 17.9 % of our GDP through Medicare, Medicaid now Obamacare!

  7. El Capitan

    Jan. 29, 2014
    12:56 a.m.

    In this related video we find Hussein Obama lying to the face of the American people about keeping their insurance and their doctor:

  8. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    3:21 p.m.

    Its good as your other posts : D, thankyou for posting.

  9. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:51 a.m.

    Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Glance complicated to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we keep in touch?

  10. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:07 p.m.

    I will right away take hold of your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me understand in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  11. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    8:58 a.m.

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  12. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:29 a.m.

    Great wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

  13. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:18 a.m.

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the last part :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  14. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    9:35 p.m.

    I am no longer positive where you are getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend a while studying more or understanding more. Thanks for great information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  15. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:04 p.m.

    It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    6:49 a.m.

    Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my blog something like that. Can I implement a portion of your post to my website?

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    5:30 p.m.

    Hello my family member! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all vital infos. I would like to see extra posts like this .

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    10:44 p.m.

    Very nice style and design and fantastic written content, absolutely nothing else we require : D.

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    10:15 a.m.

    I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for posting. “The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” by George Baker.

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    11:44 a.m.

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    2:35 p.m.

    Enjoyed looking at this, very good stuff, appreciate it.×207.png

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    4:47 a.m.

    There is visibly a lot to know about this. I consider you made certain nice points in features also.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    8:48 p.m.

    I am glad to be one of several visitors on this outstanding website (:, thankyou for posting.

  24. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    2:29 a.m.

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  25. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    11:39 p.m.

    naturally like your web site but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform the reality however I’ll definitely come back again.

  26. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    3:12 a.m.

    Hello my family member! I wish to say that this post is awesome, great written and include approximately all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  27. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    9:57 a.m.

    you are actually a good webmaster. The web site loading velocity is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a magnificent activity on this topic!

  28. citizens hanover

    Sept. 19, 2015
    8:23 p.m.

    Whats amazing post here. I will turn attention on your description.

  29. esurance renters insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:10 a.m.

    Compare esurance quotes to save more on auto and home insurance policies.

  30. State auto insurance quote

    Sept. 21, 2015
    10:22 a.m.

    Whats amazing post here. I will turn attention on your description.

  31. amica insurance customer service

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:57 a.m.

    Also I suggest everyone try our huge discounts on auto or home insurance

  32. amax insurance near me

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:38 p.m.

    Get quotes for auto and home policy. Save with us up to 40%

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    7:32 p.m.

    I’ve recently started a blog, the info you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    4:35 p.m.

    I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  35. acuity company

    Oct. 1, 2015
    5:30 p.m.

    Save on cheapest rates with out insurance companies. Get quotes on home and auto insurance by zip code.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...