Texas Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Cut Healthcare Red Tape

Earlier, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Chip Roy, both Texas Republicans, unveiled a plan that they claim will put patients, not hospitals, at the forefront of America’s healthcare system. 

The Personalized Care Act, introduced by Roy in the House of Representatives, would expand access to Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSAs) to those who do not have high-deductible health plans, which would allow individuals to make healthcare part of an investment portfolio and invest money to pay for future healthcare expenses while earning a return from the market in the meantime.

The Personalized Care Act would also increase HSA contributions limits to $10,800 for individuals and $29,500 for families and expand HSA-eligible expenses to include direct medical care fees, healthcare sharing ministry fees, and insurance premiums.

In announcing the plan, Roy said the Personalized Care Act would give people more control over their healthcare and allow individuals and families to make decisions that are best for them without complicated government and insurance regulations getting in the way.

“America’s healthcare system is unquestionably broken; Americans are hurting from climbing prices while massive insurance corporations enrich themselves off a one-sided system,” Roy said. “Our crumbling system is filled with government and insurance bureaucrats telling Americans how and when they will get care.”

At the same time Roy brought the Personalized Care Act to the House, Cruz introduced the Reciprocity Ensures Streamlined Use of Lifesaving Treatments (RESULT) Act in the Senate along with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. The RESULT Act would reduce approval time for new drugs and treatments by reducing FDA oversight and regulation.

The act hinges on a concept called reciprocal approval, whereby drugs approved for use in certain countries would be fast-tracked for approval in the U.S. and vice versa. Cruz said removing some of the regulatory red tape will help spur medical innovation in the United States and around the world, as we’ve seen over the past year with COVID-19 vaccines.

“We need to tear down the barriers blocking a new era of medical innovation, and the primary inhibitor is the government itself. It’s past time to unleash a supply-side medical revolution, so that instead of simply caring for people with debilitating diseases, we cure them,” Cruz said. “For this reason, I have introduced this legislation to reform the FDA and champion innovation. Our legislation will unleash life-saving drugs and devices in the United States, help mitigate critical drug shortages in the U.S., and put downward pressure on the prices of medical devices and drugs as well.” 

Cruz and Roy frequently introduce legislation together in their respective chambers and have a long history of working together, going back to Roy’s time as Cruz’s chief of staff. Both have made healthcare reform a policy priority in this session of Congress, but with Republicans in the minority in both the House and Senate, it’s unlikely that the Personalized Care Act or the RESULT Act will make it into law.

Grassroots Pulse covers public policy and political issues aimed at engaging highly-active policy makers, donors, and grassroots leaders at the forefront of the political process in America today.

Image Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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