Hultgren Introduces ACA Opt-Out Plan to Give States Real Health Care Flexibility
Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) has introduced an Affordable Care Act (ACA) waiver bill that empowers states like Illinois to build their own ACA alternatives and offers Americans a parachute off an overregulated health insurance market characterized by rising premiums and limited plan options.
H.R. 3352, the State Health Care Options Act of 2015, is a response to dramatically escalating health care costs, including an expected 30 percent increase for some plan participants in Illinois next year, which the ACA was intended to address. The waiver plan, which would allow states to opt out of certain provisions of the law pertaining to qualified health plans and insurance exchanges, gives states an opportunity to chart a course away from a law that has not lived up to its promises.
He recorded a video further explaining the legislation:
(Click picture to watch video)
“Last summer I hosted a community leadership forum on health care in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois. I listened to and spoke with constituents from all walks of life with diverse backgrounds working in and working with our nation’s health care system. This bill is a culmination of their concerns, their stories, and their advice,” said Rep. Hultgren. “It provides states like Illinois with a clear, immediate path forward—away from burdensome regulations, restrictive health care costs, and a consolidated health insurance market —and toward truly affordable and accessible health care.”
The State Health Care Options Act would:
- Significantly streamline the process for ACA waivers for state innovation, allowing states to opt out of certain provisions of the law without relying exclusively on HHS approval.
- Allow residents of waiver states to purchase health plans outside an exchange – whether through an agent or broker, on a private exchange, or directly from an insurer.
- Prevent residents of waiver states from being locked into a health plan for a full year by releasing states from the annual open enrollment period.
- Continue providing federal health insurance subsidies for individuals living at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
Rep. Hultgren has been a strong supporter of House efforts to repeal and replace the ACA and to strip the law of some of its most expensive provisions – including bills that would repeal the health insurance tax, the medical device tax, and the excise (“Cadillac”) tax.