Health Care Alternative Being Stalled in Committee

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Staff Writer


An alternative to the contentious health care reforms currently circulating on the Hill is being deliberately held up in Committee by House leadership. This alternative will allow individuals to choose their health insurance, provide insurance for the poor and high-risk individuals (those with pre-existing conditions), allow insurance to be sold across state lines and set limits on the kind of medical liability suits that have been driving up health care costs.



The plan, known as the “Empowering Patients First Act” (H.R. 3400) was introduced by Rep.Tom Price (R-GA) and 27 co-sponsors on July 30, 2009. The 63-page bill was then referred to eight House committees for review where House rules state it must remain for however long the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, determines.


“The 63-page Republican alternative is stuck in committees and it can’t get out,” says syndicated radio host, Herman Cain, who interview Rep. Price about the new bill. “Speaker Pelosi can simply keep it there while they continue to try to shove their proposal down the throats of the American people.”


Cain read the bill and says the Empowering Patients First Act would allow:


  • Individuals to choose their health insurance (no mandates)
  • Deductibility of health insurance premiums regardless of who pays
  • Employers to provide flexible health insurance options to employees
  • Health insurance coverage for low-income families (300 percent of the federal poverty level)
  • Health insurance for high-risk individuals (pre-existing conditions)
  • Sale of health insurance across state lines
  • Expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Individual membership association health insurance plan
  • Association Health Insurance Plans
  • Medical liability limitations (Tort reform)

Cain says that unlike the current health care reform packages, H.R. 3400 “would not impose fines on workers or employers, require cuts in Medicare, increase taxes, require a new government bureaucracy, require a ‘government health insurance’ option nor add $1 trillion or more to the national debt.”


A summary of the bill can be found at  



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