Among the top Republican alternatives to the Affordable Care Act are bills that focus on price transparency, deducting health insurance premiums from income taxes and addressing tort reform, Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee, told attendees Tuesday at the National Association of Health Underwriters’ 24th annual Capitol Conference in Washington.

“We’ve always been very open and had a lot of suggestions about how Obama could have done it better,” Day said of the ACA. She referenced “over 200 bills sitting in a desk drawer in [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s office” targeting areas such as:

  • Transparency: “So consumers can actually see what they’re paying for.”
  • Pooling: “We should allow small businesses to pool together to get the same insurance rates that larger operations and companies get.”
  • Deductibility: “Allow families and individuals to deduct their health care insurance premiums from income taxes, for heaven’s sake.”
  • Legal reform: “We are never going to fix this industry until we drastically take on the arm of the lawyers and [enact] real tort reform.”
  • Gender cost equality: “Women should not pay more for their health coverage than men.
  • Pre-existing conditions: “We totally agree with not allowing companies to refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, but we also understand that the industry is not going to survive if you’re not allowed to charge for those pre-existing conditions, and that if you don’t have a pool that you can bring together to spread that risk … it doesn’t work.”

Day — who ran her own reinsurance business with her group-life specialist husband for a decade — resonated with the audience of more than 800 NAHU members. She told the frequently clapping attendees that she expects Republicans will use the ACA as the top talking point in the mid-term elections, and as a result will “absolutely” recapture majority status in the Senate.
“I think in 2014 we’re going to have big changes that will allow your industry to grow and to prosper and to be the real solution — the opportunity finders for America,” she said.

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