Sen. Ted Cruz Introduces amendments to lower premiums and increase access to healthcare

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today proposed several amendments during the Senate healthcare debate, including two provisions that would allow Americans to access more affordable healthcare through the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to pay for direct primary care and increase HSA contribution limits.

The other provisions would encourage states to enact medical malpractice reform, allow small businesses to provide association health plans, and allow for the sale of health insurance across state lines, all of which lower healthcare costs.

Sen. Cruz also proposed reforms to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow expedited approval and increased availability of medicines and cures that have been approved in specific countries with developed safety standards.

"Both Republicans and Democrats should support these commonsense policy measures," Sen. Cruz said. "For seven years, we've promised to repeal this disaster of a law, and the Senate is working toward that end. These amendments would provide more choices for consumers, put people back in control of their healthcare and most importantly, lower health insurance premiums."

Amendment 413: Allows the creation of small business and association health plans. Income used to run such health plans will be excluded from the unrelated business income tax, which helps drive down health care costs.

Amendment 414: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to ensure that Direct Primary Care is not treated as a health plan or health insurance. The previous interpretation had limited the ability of HSAs to pay for Direct Primary Care.

Amendment 415: Increases HSA contribution limits to $10,800 for individuals and $29,500 for families, which will significantly reduce health insurance costs for consumers.

Amendment 416: Encourages state adoption of medical malpractice reform through increased matching funds (known as Federal Medical Assistance Percentages, or FMAP), reducing health care costs for consumers.

Amendment 417: Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish a reciprocal marketing approval process that allows for the sale of a drug, biological product, or medical device that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if the product is approved for sale in specific countries.

Amendment 418: Allows the sale of health insurance across state lines, which expands competition and lowers health insurance premiums for consumers.

Amendment 419: Repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 and restores provisions of law amended by those Acts.

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