Introduces four healthcare bills to give patients and doctors more freedom of choice and remove bureaucratic red tape hindering access
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced four healthcare bills to expand innovation, accessibility, and affordability for all Americans as we work to defeat the COVID-19 virus. The first bill, the Right to Test Act, increases access to testing by allowing states to approve and distribute diagnostic tests when the state or federal government has declared a public health emergency. The second bill, the RESULT Act, increases access for all Americans to life-saving drugs, devices, and other medical therapies already approved in other trusted countries. The third bill, the Equal Access to Care Act, provides more equitable access to telemedicine during the coronavirus emergency period by allowing licensed health care providers to treat patients over the phone and online. The fourth bill, the Personalized Care Act (PCA), makes Americans’ health care more portable and accessible by dramatically expanding Heath Savings Accounts (HSA)—a pre-tax savings tool millions of Americans use to cover the costs of their health care.
Upon introduction of these bills, Sen. Cruz said:
“Rightfully, Americans want to change the healthcare status quo. The critical question is whether President Biden and Congress will finally create a true personalized free market healthcare system or plummet deeper into bureaucratically rationed care. Instead of learning the lessons that the pandemic has taught us—when bureaucratic red tape is removed and private ingenuity is encouraged historic vaccines are discovered and produced in record time and ordinary private innovators fill the gap—Democrats are demanding even more control over every aspect of our lives.
“I am fighting to put patients and their doctors back in control of their healthcare, and remove barriers that reduce access to care, cures, tests, and treatments through these bills. These are commonsense reforms that will provide patients, providers, and innovators the freedom to make the healthcare choices that best meet patient needs, moving America away from a bureaucratic healthcare takeover and toward a patient-centered system.”
- Empowers states to reduce testing delays by enabling them to approve and use the diagnostic tests they need to combat public health emergencies.
- Helps states more rapidly respond to the evolving health needs of their communities as they work to curb the spread of COVID-19 and future health threats.
The RESULT Act, previously introduced in 2015 and 2019, is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) introduced the companion bill in the House of Representatives. This bill:
- Amends the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to allow for reciprocal approval of drugs, devices and biologics approved in certain trusted countries, including the UK, EU member countries, Israel, Australia, Canada and Japan.
The Equal Access to Care Act, previously introduced in 2020, is cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.). This bill:
- Removes existing barriers to telemedicine in interstate commerce during the pandemic.
- Increases the number of providers who can offer telemedicine across the nation.
- Allows more Americans to access treatment without leaving their homes.
- Frees up local healthcare providers to treat patients who require in-person medical care. This proposal is part of the four-part, all-hands-on-deck approach.
The Personalized Care Act, previously introduced in 2019, is cosponsored by U.S. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) and was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas). The bill:
- Expands HSAs to Millions of Americans. The bill decouples HSAs from high deductible health insurance plans (HDHP) and expands HSAs to Americans in major medical health insurance plans and government health programs, as well those participating in other present and future innovative forms of healthcare financing.
- Increases HSA Contribution Limits. Increases HSA contribution limits to $10,800 for individuals and $29,500 for families.
- Allows HSAs to Pay for Healthcare Premiums. Allows individuals and families to use their HSAs to pay for health insurance premiums.
- Allows HSAs to Pay for Direct Primary Care and Other Direct Medical Care Arrangements. Allows account holders to use HSAs to pay for periodic fees for direct primary care or other direct medical care. Ensures that such arrangements are treated as qualified medical expenses.
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