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Congressman Pete Sessions Discusses the Healthcare Fairness for All Act

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Congressman Pete Sessions Interview at thINc360

In this insightful interview, Congressman Pete Sessions discusses the Healthcare Fairness for All Act. He explains how this legislation aims to improve healthcare parity and provide tax credits for families. Congressman Pete Sessions emphasizes the importance of equitable healthcare access for all Americans.

You can view the full video interview here

Key Takeaways

  1. Healthcare parity is a central goal of the Healthcare Fairness for All Act, providing equal tax benefits for all families. This aims to reduce disparities between employer-provided healthcare and individual plans.
  2. The act introduces tax credits for families, offering $4,000 per adult and $2,000 per child. These credits can be advanced and are refundable, ensuring immediate financial support.
  3. Medicaid and Obamacare currently provide uneven support, leaving many small business owners and independent contractors without assistance. The new legislation aims to bridge this gap and offer more comprehensive coverage.
  4. The importance of equitable healthcare access is emphasized, particularly for underserved populations. By including more people in the tax system, the act seeks to ensure better health outcomes for all.

Understanding the Healthcare Fairness for All Act with Congressman Pete Sessions

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Well, welcome. I’m here now with Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas, and I’m so pleased to be able to speak with you today, Congressman, about the Healthcare Fairness for All Act, number 3129. Now, Congressman, what are some of the basic hallmarks of this act? How could it change lives here in America?”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“The system as we have today does not allow, unless you have literally cancer and are dying, where you spend an excessive amount of your own money, it does not allow parity in the system.

Today, if you have employer-provided healthcare, the model generally is 70-30. An employer receives the business deduction, and the employee gets their portion on a pre-tax basis.

They are part of a group market plan. They are part of receiving five thousand dollars pre-tax if they choose contribution to purchase pharmaceuticals and other things.

We have a market of Medicaid, and that is a government-run system. It helps people who have less income. Then you have Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, which is in the middle, which receives very generous contribution subsidies from the government.

But if you’re an average person, perhaps a realtor, perhaps an independent contractor, you own your own business, small business, you receive zero help.

This plan modernizes it but allows everyone to have what we call parity. That is, a family of four who today receives virtually no tax benefits will receive four thousand dollars for each adult, two thousand dollars for each child, and allows them to take this twelve thousand dollars.

Not that they put in their pocket, it’s not taxed, it is moved forward to give parity. Just like people, as I did, I worked for AT&T for 16 years. I was allowed this tax benefit, tax opportunity. It offers parity.

So, a family of four could go on in October just like I would do, purchase their own healthcare, make a decision, be a part of a group plan, and instead of showing up uninsured, where rates are excessive, and you’re looked at differently and treated differently, it puts you on parity.

We think this is the best answer for moving forward so that there’s parity in the marketplace and people who would choose can be covered.”

Exploring Tax Credits and Subsidies in the Healthcare Fairness for All Act

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“Okay, so you’re referring to a tax credit for a family of four. Are there any limits to that?”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“In fact, what happens, this is advancable and refundable, so you do not have to spend the money to get it back later, which is a typical tax credit viewpoint. This allows you to apply it right up front.

Kaiser has put numbers out that essentially say the average family of four healthcare plan is about twenty-two thousand dollars. Under this scenario, a family of four would have twelve thousand dollars, and then they would provide their money, the other, what might be fifty percent, to this plan.

So it’s not a, it is a subsidy that is fair and considerate across what everyone’s receiving, but we still get people to pay in, buy into healthcare. They just get more for it.”

Eligibility and Outcome Requirements in the Healthcare Fairness for All Act

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“What about eligibility? Will there be any limits to that? Do you have to be in the tax system?”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“You have to be in the tax system.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“You mentioned Kaiser. I think that’s very interesting because, as we all know, as an accountable care organization, they do want to see results or some sort of outcomes-driven data. Would that be required in this act?”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“Well, the parity is the piece. I think that Kaiser knows as much as anybody else this huge number of people that show up uninsured, the huge amount of money that the government subsidizes, not only the hospitals but the states, for uninsured people.

This gives them an opportunity to really focus on better healthcare because people who would choose to have this then get the same help that anyone else with employer-provided healthcare would have.”

Next Steps for the Healthcare Fairness for All Act

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“You introduced this in May. What are the next steps?”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“Well, the next steps are to make sure that we’re talking to people just like you, that we are talking to people who are not just in healthcare. This is policy. This is the essence of where Washington, D.C. plays a role.

And we need to make sure that we include, and not just Americans for Prosperity, who is a part of this. They captured this in ideas as they move across the country of real answers, and they began working with us.

The Goodman Institute, Dr. John Goodman, has been in healthcare for 40 years and has advocated for policies that would be fair but that would work.

We believe if there’s one thing that works in healthcare, it’s employer-provided healthcare. It provides more money into the system, it gives parity across the country, and it is the preferred model for people to have.

Why not aim for America having and continuing its opportunity for these Americans that go to work, provide the money but need this help.”

Addressing the Audience at thINc360: The Importance of Healthcare Policy and Inclusion

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“It’s terrific that we were able to get your message here at thINc360. Why did you think it was important to address the audience here today at this event?”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“I think thINc360 is really about a bunch of policy people who, and as we heard in the session that we did a few minutes ago, there are a lot of things that people want to point at.

They want to point at the biggest things that will make the most difference in healthcare. The thing that makes the most difference, in my opinion, is like a family that I have. I had, he’s older now, he’s a young adult, disabled children.

Disabled children, their families really don’t have an option about whether they’re going to come and get healthcare. They need healthcare.

Now, more than ever, we find that about 40 percent of families, and that means 40 percent of uninsured people, need an opportunity to have available to them, without moving into a safety net, opportunity for them to be able to go to work, move their children, make decisions.

And I think the one thing we learned was learn, don’t be taught, and that learning comes about as a result of working with, in our case, pediatricians who could talk with us about what would be next for my son.

He was a Down syndrome man, he’s now 29. But you just can’t go through life and wait for these things to happen, you have to be prepared. And the same thing would be true for a family with children that might be on a normal pattern.

They still need a physician, they need healthcare, they grow up healthy. Our country will benefit from a perspective of not just a healthcare system, but perhaps more importantly for the government, a system that is fair, equitable.

We can use these words accurately, inclusion, but that would produce a system that would be more cost-effective, rather than the long term of not dealing with this diabetes issue or other issues, mental health.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:


Congressman Pete Sessions:

“And so, these are daunting tasks. If we, meaning Congress, can look at the needs of the American people, and every member of Congress has someone writing them, I don’t know about every day, but every other day, speaking about the things that they encounter.

And if we wanted to include this vast number of people that today are uninsured, you can see it in the numbers, then there’s parity.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“All right, Congressman, thank you. I look forward to following the progress of 3129.”

Congressman Pete Sessions:

“Well, we intend to be vigorous about giving every member of Congress a chance to hear and hope that people that are involved today and watch this will want to learn more about H.R. 3129 also.”

Host Mabel Jong – thINc360:

“All right, thank you again.”

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