Bill Cassidy, a physician who is a Republican senator representing Louisiana, has introduced the Patient Freedom Act, which would address the consequences if the Supreme Court decides King v. Burwell in a way that eliminates ObamaCare subsidies for five to ten million people in states that haven't established their own exchanges. A press release from Dr. Cassidy reports:
Original cosponsors include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Mike Rounds (R-SD). A companion bill will be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Dr. Ralph Abraham (R-LA).
The Act emphasizes Health Savings Accounts and transparent pricing by health-care providers. But what was most striking to me on reading the bill was that even Senate Republican leaders such as McConnell and Cornyn, not known for being exactly big-government types, have signed onto a plan that, while no ObamaCare, nonetheless includes penalties for not carrying insurance and phaseouts of benefits, along with considerable complexity. If you want to see what I mean by "considerable complexity," have a look at the language. It may explain why Dr. Cassidy's list of cosponsors does not include any of the senators — Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio — who are running for president.