Cassidy, Collins introduce Obamacare replacement bill

WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) - U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, is one of the driving forces behind a potential replacement for Obamacare.

Cassidy and U.S. Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the Patient Freedom Act of 2017 on Monday.

Cassidy said the focus of this healthcare bill is to give more power to the states. It would give states three options for healthcare.

They could opt into a new plan created by a team assembled by Cassidy and Collins, they could opt to have no federal help when it comes to healthcare or they could stay with Obamacare.

Cassidy laid out some basics of their alternative. It includes a health savings accounts and an automatic enrollment plan that people can choose to decline.

"Power is best held by individuals and states, not the federal government," Cassidy said. "And, if there's a flaw, among the many flaws of Obamacare, it is that Washington, DC arrogated power, taking it from patients and taking it from states."

Cassidy hopes that states select his new plan as opposed to Obamacare. He says it's a plan that President Donald Trump would want.

"He wishes for all to be covered and that those with pre-existing conditions continue to have coverage, that there not be mandates, and that we make it lower cost. I think that Senator Collins would agree, that there's not many ways to get there, and as far as we know, none better than this."

Cassidy also proposed a timeline. He wants the bill to come before Congress this year after it replaces Obamacare and immediately be implemented. States would make their decisions in 2018 and then start their chosen plan in 2019.

To read the full legislative text of the Patient Freedom Act of 2017, click here.

For a one page version, click here.

For a section-by-section breakdown, click here.

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