Newsline

Newsline , Society

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

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2019
|
by The Association of Mature American Citizens
|
156 Comments
|
Print

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 – [email protected] • 703-683-5004 ext. 1109

Morgan Assenmacher – [email protected] • 703-683-5004 ext. 1121

Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
156 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Menges
Mike Menges
5 years ago

Finally, Congress working across the aisle to simplify healthcare.

Brenda Hannon
Brenda Hannon
5 years ago

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!

Charlene Kimmel
Charlene Kimmel
5 years ago

Sounds like a very effect, low cost, easy to understand by the MDs as well as the patients, and most importantly, LOCAL solution to the everyday healthcare needs of our neediest people. At its core is the charitable health services offered by many physicians from time immemorial. Only now, they can get a tax deduction. Brilliant. Now can a similar thing be done for hospitalization? And will it apply to surgeons? Charlene

Wayne D Peterkin
Wayne D Peterkin
5 years ago

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.

Eddie
Eddie
5 years ago

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

Richard
Richard
5 years ago

If you notice 1 democrat and 1 republican sponsored the bill and all co-sponsors are republicans,no democrats so that is probably not going to be supported by the democrats,I hope I am wrong,but probably not

AMH
AMH
5 years ago

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

Robert Jackson
Robert Jackson
5 years ago

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?

Walter Rose
Walter Rose
5 years ago

Socialism doesn’t work!

Lawrnece
Lawrnece
5 years ago

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 highly educated people in our society – basically very smart people. Many are telling me that they advise their children to choose another profession and not go into health care as the income potential will not be there in the future. Especially as the Dems seem to be trending toward socialism. These SMART people have many other professions to choose from. This approach will further reduce the QUALITY of Care that we benefit from in our country.
4. I find it interesting that people with no knowledge in general of the health field want to write laws that affect healthcare for the population. Is not this the Blind leading the blind for political purposes and in the end no real solution?

OK, it is easy to attack a proposal but it is more beneficial to propose solutions for the problems in out society.

Consider:
A. All the waste in the health field (some caused by poor laws passed in Congress – due to bribes and political lobbying. Eliminate political lobbying and we can start to solve problems in our country. OK. I will stop here but I could write a book on all of these issues with some solutions even.
B. Billing Fraud by even good providers (physicians). Billing fraud or upcoding as it is referred to in the health field is a challenge as even quality physicians get involved in this type of fraud as it is harder to catch. I have even seen HMO’s who question doctors billing practices but do nothing as these providers are popular and have large patient populations. The HMO’s are afraid that if the doctors are pushed too hard they will stop doing business with those insurance companies and the doctors will convince patients to choose other HMO’s – thereby losing revenue to those insurance companies.
C. Device developers, equipment developers etc who charge /overcharge for their equipment based upon laws passes by Congress or just that no one questions the prices…..
D. Medical Charges is a big issue. What The administration is looking to do with having doctors and hospitals post charges is interesting but based on how the billing and payment systems have developed over the past 5-6 decades it will not solve any problems. We need a new approach here and trust me Congress would have no idea how to do it.
E. Prescription meds – There is a simple solution to this problem but we would need Congress to pass a simple law that many members of congress will refuse to support as they take bribes and donations from the Pharmaceutical industry. A simple law stating that says each Pharmaceutical company cannot charge more for their meds in the USA then then charge in Canada (net of any discounts, rebates, etc. As Canada negotiates lower prices then we pay, this would give Americans Immediate relief and lower costs for prescriptions…. Much of what I am proposing ie the devices and equipment has been already done by other countries.

Honest members of Congress would not propose a law that would not work such as this proposed law but rather a law with real fixes. Bring in the professionals who actually want to make a change and are beholding to Americans, not to political parties or lobbyists….

I guess I went on long enough but I could write a thesis on this as could many others….

Diane Jone
Diane Jone
5 years ago

This will be a great bill for AMERICAN CITIZENS if they can convince everyone to back it. There is no reason not to. This would be caring for our citizens that need the help and it would help the medical field too. Medicaid is also for Seniors who have used their savings up paying for medical bills etc. I think this will help Seniors also. there are crooked people everywhere today and all they get is a slap on the wrist if they break the law; Political correctness. Judges do it all the time now. Anyone who complains is wrong. No matter who they are; if you do the crime; you pay the time in jail and fined.

Michael
Michael
5 years ago

But, can we tru$t the doctor$ ?

Jeanne P Hartlove
Jeanne P Hartlove
5 years ago

I think this will not only help the people, but the doctors too.

Veteran
Veteran
5 years ago

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.

Raymond Hudson
Raymond Hudson
5 years ago

At face value, this seems wide open to Huge amounts of fraud! and anyone who thinks Physicians are above that sleazy path to riches, did not pay attention to how the opioid epidemic first started. In the end, the tax payer will receive a Very Expensive Rectal Exam!!

Johnnie McHan
Johnnie McHan
5 years ago

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.

A Snow
A Snow
5 years ago

Let’s attach Wall money to this bill and see if anyone actually READs the bill before passing it…

Arteest
Arteest
5 years ago

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?

steve
steve
5 years ago

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 or abused.

This bill may offer some benefits but it is not a solution and may not even be the beginning of the quest for a solution.

Henry Naizer
Henry Naizer
5 years ago

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?

Bill in TX
Bill in TX
5 years ago

The bill gives doctors a tax incentive to perform pro bono services thus eliminating the expense being billed to the government. Therefore reduced federal spending plus a benefit to the patient and the doctor is the result. Doctors do not currently receive a tax break for free service to patients. Attorney’s receive a tax benefit for free service to those who can not pay. Why not the doctors? It takes government out of the loop for paying. This is good. I urge you to call your representative to encourage them to co-sponsor the bill. If they will not ask them why. Are they more in favor for medicare for everybody? Have you called your representative?

Rey pollini
Rey pollini
5 years ago

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.

David Touch
David Touch
5 years ago

It appears only Republicans are co-sponsoring this bill.

David Touch
David Touch
5 years ago

It seems only (R) and not ((D) are co-sponsoring thnis bill

Chuck
Chuck
5 years ago

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!

Dan Williams
Dan Williams
5 years ago

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”.

Robert N
Robert N
5 years ago

The idea of removing government from the loop is good. I think this policy set would be better than what we have…

1) Remove all taxation of healthcare
2) Mandate Healthcare Savings Accounts, just like taxes are taken and mandated, instead everyone has a Healthcare Savings Account. This account is insured like a FDIC insured or similar credit union account. and by law earns a higher rate than other savings accounts. This account is filled with tax free money and expenditures from it can only be for healthcare and are tax free. It can be spent on healthcare plans like Kaiser and Blue Cross too. It can be spent on vision and dental needs as well as other.
3) Say time progresses the amount mandated current government programs is moved to this account and the amount of coverage in government programs is reduced until all coverage is via this tax-free savings.
4) Increase the tax write-off for contributions to non-profit healthcare. For instance, write-off could be increased to 105% of that donated or 110% to encourage non-profits that provide healthcare especially efforts to increase skilled care providers that are lacking and the number of healthcare facilities in the country (hospitals, MRI devices, vaccine and other factories).

This same idea of using before tax dollars to save for retirement (Social Security) and unemployment and a one time tax-free savings account for a first home; coupled with encouragement of non-profit providers for increasing home stock instead of HUD programs. These remove government from areas it doesn’t need to be in and put the initiative and means in each citizen’s hands. This is already being done in Education… the goal being to remove the government waste and bureaucratic tyranny and abuse. It could be made a requirement for becoming a licensed healthcare professional that they provide some level of pro bono work that is reasonable in their profession’s sight.

The goal should be to always minimize government control and keep the control and power in the patient’s domain.

A further protection of resources for use for healthcare would be to limit the taxes citizens could be required to pay and require a balanced budget for all government levels. Those in control of the budget, Congress for instance, would permanently lost pay whenever the budget is in the red and debt is outstanding and also be precluded from running for office for 5 years. They would also lose any government retirement and all government employees would take a 1% payout each month until the budget is balanced (normal pay $100, 1st unbalanced month $99, 2nd month $98), this pay rate would not be returned to previous rates until the budget balances with a 5% surplus rainy day fund and the incurred debt is wiped out. No recuperation of the pay could happen until the budget balances and a 5% emergency buffer is realized.

All government pensions should be liquidated and put in the same retirement savings devices that all Americans can use including these tax-free Retirement Savings accounts.

All inventions and discoveries that are funded by the government should become to a fair extent the property of the people of the United States and all revenue from them should be equally distributed to U.S. citizens. For example, let us say the government funds a research project that contributes to the discovery of something that ends up being a commercial success and generates revenue of say $350,000,000. The $350,000,000 billion should be paid to U.S. citizens to a pre-tax revenue investment account that they control and pay taxes on when they spend it unless they transfer it permanently to a Healthcare Savings account.

All these accounts should be inheritable tax-free to similar accounts. Anything inherited that doesn’t go to a tax-free Healthcare account should be taxed or, if it is inherited into a tax deferred account it wouldn’t incur taxes until it was spent.

Finally, the current idea that government workers who do not work during a shutdown get paid as if they did should be illegal. Taxes should not be given away period. All National Parks should be fee-based and self supporting.

These are just a few ideas that could revolutionize our government and return control of peoples lives to themselves instead of government.

Robert N
Robert N
5 years ago

One more comment for AMAC… whenever you have a bill like this that you approve of, it would be great if you provided an easy means of contacting our legislators on it via a link on the article page.. in other words a means of easily voicing our position on it to the entities that need to hear it and a means of polling it so that AMAC knows how the membership interested enough to read teh article feel about the proposal. This will help the proposal and help AMAC keep abreast of AMAC membership’s feelings about such things.

Penny Webster
Penny Webster
5 years ago

It had better pass and the President sign it…finally they are working together for solutions! Thank you AMAC for your support as well. Now if they would only build that wall!!!

MariaRose
MariaRose
5 years ago

Most of the comments here have rightly noticed the flaws in this proposal which is continued “free “ service by doctors by giving them a “so-called “ tax exemption. That statement alone screams FRAUD alert. I also noted that one of the representatives is from Florida where I know that certain doctors reside there that already utilize fraud in claims for their services. However truisic this law appears to present, there’s too much latitude in the proposed bill. I do not support this proposed bill.

Ken L.
Ken L.
5 years ago

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!

Brenda Blunt
Brenda Blunt
5 years ago

Eliminate Obamacare. Make insurance available to all legal Americans. Make insurance cost effective. COO/CEOs do not get multimillion dollars salaries or bonuses!

Robert Lindsey
Robert Lindsey
5 years ago

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.

Deborah
Deborah
5 years ago

I have been with Amac 3 yrs

David Rounds
David Rounds
5 years ago

Important that everyone read and re-read comments by LAWRNECE (Lawrence?) which seem to sum up our existing health care problems. Great that people really want to improve same, but let’s be reasonable in understanding and improving things. Fraud is already happening, lobbyists control too many aspects of healthcare, especially costs, and our elected representatives refuse to address these problems, while assuring us that “government” is the cure. I’m a non-believer. This proposal falls short. If we could first eliminate fraud and waste, health care would dramatically improve for all.

Thomas
Thomas
5 years ago

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) FREE healthcare at the doctors of their choice at the same time that the Demonicrat Party wants to eliminate all insurance companies and our doctor choices by implementing Medicare for all .. who turned the werld upside down and inside out? So basically, the supposed poor who probably pay no taxes will be receiving the new Cadillac healthcare along with Congressional members paid for by tax payers that are going to be put on a one-size–fits-all socialist healthcare system with no choices .. Great .. sign me up!! Now I’m embarrassed that the head of AMAC supports this crap .. I expect this liberal pablem from AARP but not AMAC .. perhaps he cut his teeth at AARP. I have compassion for the those poor that truely need help .. that need a “temporary” helping hand .. but many of our supposed poor have made a living out of being poor because it pays off .. enough is enough ..

Thomas
Thomas
5 years ago

How do you spell the word “idiot” .. “Dan Weber”

Robin Bork
Robin Bork
5 years ago

I like the idea, but who is going to monitor this type of deduction. We all know the cheating and fraud found in billing government funded programs.
Self employed.

chaly
chaly
5 years ago

So if this passes, which I feel is needed because everyone using it are not scumbags, and IF the savings are in the billions, use that savings it to payback the ‘baracade’ cost at our southern border. The cost of illegal immigration is the highest bill the taxpayers have today. The DNC’ommunists are trying to destroy this country! Why? Bribery, stupidity, theft, what!

melody
melody
5 years ago

I think that this is a good idea, but only if it allows funds also for integrative, alternative, wholistic care and free choice in health care. Currently the government only allows reimbursement for allopathic care. They (the government) should openly investigate other more healthful practices. At least be open to debate.

Phyllis Poole
Phyllis Poole
5 years ago

these programs are
Taken advantage of by the patients and the doctors who participate
The doctors aren’t capable of a decent diagnosis and care of a normal practise. AND many who use these doctors have much money spent in frivolous ways and don’t deserve others money to pay medical bills.

Anthony Virag
Anthony Virag
5 years ago

From what I read here, I think this is an excellent start for improving health care costs for the most vulnerable of our citizens. It MAY even lead to an acceptance of affordable private sector insurance for everybody.

Tom Kubera -VET
Tom Kubera -VET
5 years ago

Get out of the medical business especially the VA. There hasn’t been anything fixed in the VA with this administration either. I have enough health drug abusing young adults that live around me that don’t work and get Welfare isn’t America great. I worked all my life , served my country and still have to pay for everything. I look for managers specials so I can save money. One last thing let’s get rid of Georgie I got lost in the sky Bush bill that put a income limit on vets who can use the VA. Millionaires can collect social security, some families get millions from Saudi Arabia but vets who make a few buck can’t use the VA.

Stormie
Stormie
5 years ago

If illegal aliens are included, poor Americans will fail to benefit from this law.
I believe the government should get out of the healthcare business. Government is too big as it is.

Lee
Lee
5 years ago

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.

RJFL99
RJFL99
5 years ago

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!

Carol Garner
Carol Garner
5 years ago

I can see lots of abuse of the Medicare system by doctors who get monies .

Peggy Fulford
Peggy Fulford
5 years ago

If the doctors would do this it might help some of the stealing of monies thru Medicaid

ERNEST YOUNG
ERNEST YOUNG
5 years ago

No, no, no! Check your conservative Americanism; it’s slouching toward socialism! The problem with Medicaid or any similar charity is that it is run by the Federal government! No matter how you paint it, it is government socialism force-funded on the backs of taxpayers and NOT free-will charity. Don’t drink that Kool-Aid. Did you know that 85% of illnesses are lifestyle-related and not economic-related?

Rick
Rick
5 years ago

This could be a reasonable first step. However, other pieces must be added to reach a real solution. EG. Tort reform, increasing
the number of primary care doctors and nurses, and bringing the cost of prescription drugs in line with what the rest of the world pays. AS always, the devil is in the way the legislation is written !!

Former President Trump's tweet about the shooting
Aerial View of Active Open-Pit Mine With Heavy Machinery in Bright Daylight. Heavy machinery operates in a deep, open-pit mine during the day, highlighting the scale and depth of excavation and mineral extraction processes.
parents and children enjoying a picnic
Former President Trump and Running Mate J.D. Vance Make First Joint Appearance

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

156
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games