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Bill Offering Low-Income Americans Free Medical Care Introduced With Bipartisan Support in House

republican officials threatened harassed death bill Americans free medical care bipartisanAMAC touts increased access to healthcare, taxpayer savings of billions in annual Medicaid payments 

WASHINGTON, DC – A simple but effective mechanism to increase both choice and access to quality healthcare for the nation’s Medicaid eligible poor, while saving billions in Medicaid and CHIP outlays, was introduced today in the House of Representatives. Under the proposed law, doctors and medical professionals who offer medical care for low-income Americans would receive a tax deduction for each low-income patient they treat for free.

The “Physician Pro Bono Care Act ” was introduced by Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Collin Peterson (D-MN). The bill has five additional co-sponsors.

Many physicians are dropping out of the Medicaid program due to high administrative costs and procedural burdens. This bipartisan Physician Pro Bono Care Act (H.R. 856) effectively provides Medicaid and CHIP eligible individuals and families access to healthcare, the ability to choose their physicians and to establish long-term patient-physician relationships.

At the same time, the law would provide physicians the opportunity to avoid Medicaid’s and CHIP’s costly administrative burdens and receive a simple charitable tax deduction for their services. The annual net savings of this charitable deduction approach to Medicaid and the CHIP program expenditures would be a multiple of the cost of the deduction.

“This can be a bipartisan win-win to improve access and choice to healthcare for those of limited means, and I urge the Congress to take up this legislation and pass it,” said Dan Weber, president and founder of AMAC.  “From the positive feedback we’ve received from physicians, we believe medical care could be offered to as many as 7 million needy people,” Weber added.

“This bill is a creative, commonsense solution that ensures our most vulnerable Americans have access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a price they can afford,” said Rep. Daniel Webster. “This bill removes government bureaucracy and red-tape that obstructs the patient-doctor relationship, and it expands access to doctors for some of the more vulnerable in our society.”

“In addition to expanding care options for those most in need, the Physician Pro Bono Care Act also has the potential to save billions of dollars in federal healthcare expenditures,” said Rep. Collin Peterson. “I look forward to working with Congressman Webster to implement this important reform.”

EDIT AS OF 3/12/19:

Bill Introduced By:

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL-06)

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN-07)

Additional Co-sponsors:

Rick Allen (R/GA-12)

Jody Hice (R/GA-10)

Mark Meadows (R/NC-11)

Alex Mooney (R/WV-02)

Bruce Westerman (R/AR-04)

Paul Gosar (R/AZ-04)

Pete Stauber (R/MN-08)

Ron Wright (R/TX-06)

Ted Budd (R/NC-13)

Greg Gianforte (R/MT-AL)

Barry Loudermilk (R/GA-11)

Greg Stuebe (R/FL-17)

AMAC is the 1.6-million-member conservative alternative to AARP and has extensively lobbied in support of the measure. The organization will continue its work with House Members to encourage more co-sponsors as well as support from the medical and conservative communities, who supported a nearly identical version of the bill which was introduced in the last session of Congress.


Media Contacts:

Mike Russell – miker@crc4pr.com • 703-683-5004 ext. 1109

Morgan Assenmacher – massenmacher@CRCPublicRelations.com • 703-683-5004 ext. 1121

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Veteran

Uncle Sam needs to get out of the healthcare and redistribution of property business once and for all; we would have less poor and healthcare would actually get down to affordable prices again. The problem is not too little money spent but too much money spent on more and more bureaucracy that eats up any money intended to go to healthcare.

Johnnie McHan

There are many doctors who already, because of their humanity, write off treatments or charge much lower costs to seniors, the under insured, and their not insured patients. Because it is done for their personal moral reasons, you do not hear it shouted from the MSM or even whispered. I thank God every day for my doctors who are all in practice for helping others not to get rich; but Obamacare taxed them high rates, premiums for malpractice grew 1000% and many retired rather than lose everything they had worked many years for. Sad, sad what the Dems did then and now they are trying to totally break America’s Constitution and turn us into a socialist country which will only produce anarchy. They must be stopped. We have members of Congress who are not fit to work in city animal shelters much less with human beings.

Wayne D Peterkin

On the surface this sounds plausible. But the devil is always in the details, such as how it is administered to insure that only Medicaid-eligible patients are claimed by the physicians for tax credits. In other words, fraud must be prevented. A second fear is that Medicaid not be expanded. This is NOT free healthcare. Maybe for some Medicaid patients, but not for taxpayers since tax credits are being used to pay for it. Dishonest politicians determined to buy votes with taxpayer money are likely to jump on this bandwagon as a means of expanding “free” healthcare to everyone that is not “free”. Last, Medicaid has traditionally been substandard healthcare in that some treatments are more severely rationed than with Medicare or traditional health insurance. Carefully view this proposal with a jaundiced eye. It could turn into a cesspool.

Walter Rose

Socialism doesn’t work!

Brenda Hannon

If the low income people were elderly, or handicapped, I would agree but it will wind up every public aid person. WHO will have to pay for this?? I’m tired of my hard earned money going for increased taxes so we can support the people who are too lazy to work, and some of them are breaking the law with drugs, robbery, and assault, along with the money they already get from our taxes!

Thomas

This is all smoke and mirrors socialist crap, and being facilitated by Republicans no less. Free is never free and all govmint programs are ripe for abuse and cheating .. how many times have you watched the person in front of you at the market pay for their food using an EBT card and then walk out and get into a 2 year old Cadillac SUV .. or a BMW .. thats a Kalifornia special .. and your paying for their cheating and for your own food. Doctors will cheat for the tax benefits to try and regain their reduced service profits and the American taxpayers will ultimately pay for the tax credits extended to the doctors .. its a joke. So lets see, they are pushing a bill to give supposed poor people (who we know all have cell phones, computers and flat screen TV’s and most likely cars)… Read more »

Lawrnece

Health care needs to change and improve but there is a right and a wrong way to do it. I spent over 45 years on the business side of healthcare and have heard from doctors for many of those years. Challenges with what is proposed: 1, As with other proposals the main question is who will pay for this? The wealthy already taxes to the tune of 81% in many cases so unless we want them to work for free where do we get the money to pay for it? 2. Yes as stated above doctors are refusing to sign up to accept Medicaid. Historically the quality doctors are the ones who turn away from Medicaid so that leaves the average to poor doctors for lower income and how does that maintain quality care? 3. I am not a health care provider and will say that doctors are the more… Read more »

Henry Naizer

Please, someone point to that specific clause in Art I, Sec 8 or to that Amendment where healthcare/medical care (what ever term) is enumerated as a delegated function of the federal government?

Eddie

Just keep throwing our money at it, maybe it will go away! How much is THIS going to cost me.?

Arteest

The old saying: nothing is as sure as death and taxes. This proves them both. This will cause us to be taxed to death. Why is health care a “right”? We can murder children right up to the point of birth but insist on health care for all? What about the “all” part that haven’t been delivered yet? Or all thos on SS and MC, when do we get the needle because we cost too much to keep alive?

Chuck

My question is, what is it going to cost those of us that make just enough to not qualify, to pay for this idea? Many people make a few thousand over what is deemed to qualify and if they raise our rates to cover the people who are “low income”. That will strain our budgets and may even force us to not go to the Doctor unless we are desperately ill, so someone else can have free care. I call BS on that!

steve

A family member was for many years a doctor behind the old “iron curtain”. There, of course, medical care was completely “free”. As a doctor he was easily able to see the fallacy of providing people things for free. He spoke often of this and he was right. If you give someone something for free, how high a value will he place on it? He got it for nothing, there’s more where that came from, who cares? We see examples of this here; the leftist press has stopped running stories about welfare recipients and layabouts calling 911 to have an ambulance take them to the ER because they have a cold. This does not mean it isn’t happening every day though. Everything should have some cost. Does not need to be much, but people have to realize that all things come with a cost and so should not be wasted… Read more »

Robert Jackson

So, medical practitioners get a tax break which will also benefit low income people.
Sound like a play for empathy from the millions who receive nothing from this bill.
And kicks the can down the road regarding the Debt.
If a large part of the problem being alleviated is “… high administrative costs and procedural burdens …”,
then could not the same benefit be derived by addressing those issues directly?

Rey pollini

This bill should not be passed! A physician would require a tax deduction that is a multiple of the normal fee to break even (based on the tax bracket). We will end up paying for the tax deduction that the physician gets.

Dan Williams

We keep hearing politicians proposing “Medicare for Everyone” with the implications that under their plan Medicare would be “free” to all. My spouse and I have been on Social Security and Medicare for almost 13 years now and we have been required to pay monthly Medicare premiums which totaled $3,240 for 2018. So when we have “Free Medicare for Everyone” does that mean that no one pays monthly premiums, including retired persons now on Social Security? Someone needs to clarify this because if monthly premiums will still be required it is not “free”.

RJFL99

Here go the Rinos again! They’ve always been stupid enough to open the door a little bit for dimocrats, then the dimocrats take advantage of it and pretty soon it’s been expanded so much you wouldn’t even recognize the original bill – and all to buy votes with dimocratic freebies! NO! We don’t need the gov’t in medicine, period!

Robert Lindsey

This how a country goes socialist it keeps people from working and the old saying if it;s free it’s for me taxpayers pay for all of it and I want to keep my hard earned money.

Ken L.

It’s a nice idea, but how do they expect physicians to buy into it, and how will it be administered? After all, while physicians are trusting of their patients, no one trusts the government to do what they say they will. Not a good idea!

Lee

Tax credits don’t pay the doctor’s bills. Also, things obtained free don’t get appreciated. I can see people going to the doctor when they have the sniffles or stub a toe under this legislation. Bad idea! Get the government out of healthcare and things would be much better for all.

AMH

Payments will still have to be made whether its Medicaid or something else. We save money by offering doctors more.